New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, expressed praise this week for President Donald Trump’s efforts to provide his state with expedited coronavirus relief funds, according to Fox Business.
Crediting the Trump administration with cutting bureaucratic “red tape,” Cuomo said New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority received billions in federal dollars.
“Spend it wisely!”
The New York governor has been one of the nation’s most prominent leaders during the coronavirus outbreak, hosting regular press conferences in which he expressed both praise and criticism of the federal response.
In remarks to reporters on Thursday, however, Cuomo made it clear that he is “grateful” for the decision to set aside nearly $4 billion in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, for the public transit system.
“He heard me out,” Cuomo said of Trump, according to Fox Business. “I’ve also asked him to expedite certain payments and he’s expediting a $3.9 billion payment to MTA…which desperately needs funding because the ridership is way down.”
The first installment, Cuomo added, arrived earlier the same day. Trump confirmed the news in a tweet.
“Important funding to keep transit systems clean and operating to get people back to work!” Trump wrote, as Fox Business reported. “Spend it wisely!”
“We are in dire financial need”
Earlier this month, Trump and Cuomo bickered over funding that the president referred to as “bailouts” for states led by Democrats.
“It’s not red or blue, it’s red, white and blue,” Cuomo said, according to CNBC. “This coronavirus doesn’t pick Democrats or Republicans. It doesn’t kill Democrats or Republicans, it kills Americans. If we don’t get the money from Washington, we can’t fund schools at the rate we want to fund them. We are in dire financial need.”
The governor ordered that New York City’s subway be closed for several hours each day to be thoroughly cleaned, marking the first service disruption in roughly a century. He is now calling for a phased reopening of the state, which includes seven guidelines that must be met before the process moves forward, according to reports.
Though the statewide stay-at-home had been set to expire on Friday, Cuomo said he would extend those restrictions to certain regions of New York until June 13, the New York Post noted.
Regardless of a person’s political opinion of either Cuomo or Trump, it is an encouraging sign that these occasional partisan rivals can join forces to make sure critical aid ends up where it is needed most.