House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a message for Andrew Cuomo: chill out.
The California Democrat gently chided New York’s governor to be more patient with Congress as Cuomo lobbies for funding to help with lockdown-related state deficits, the Washington Examiner reported. Pelosi said that Cuomo should “calm down,” since the funding will come in the next relief bill.
Pelosi admonishes Cuomo
Gov. Cuomo has made no secret of his frustration with a lack of federal funding from the coronavirus relief packages passed by Congress, as a shuttered economy continues to drive up deficits. He called billions of dollars given to New York in the $2 trillion CARES act insufficient, according to CNBC, and he was not pleased when Congress passed another $484 billion in spending last week that did not include funding for state and local governments.
Republicans initially wanted just $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program — which recently ran out of money — to help small businesses keep their payrolls funded, but Democrats lobbied for more resources in the bill and guarantees for minority-owned businesses seeking loans. The bill passed last week after days of negotiation and delay that Republicans blamed on Democrats, but Democrats have said that they hammered out a fairer deal and secured necessary funding for hospitals and testing.
On Sunday, Pelosi was pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper to explain why Democrats did not push for the state and local government funding, especially in light of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) resistance to shelling out more money. Pelosi got testy, insisting that her party did not make a “concession” and that the $484 billion bill was never meant to be more than an “interim” deal — a description that seems to clash with her party’s protracted negotiations to get billions more in funding.
Addressing criticism from Cuomo, she said, “Just calm down,” and said of the next bill, “We will have state and local, and we will have it in a very significant way.”
Pelosi gave Cuomo and other Democratic governors a patronizing pat on the head, encouraging them to be more “impatient” to set the stage for the next round of emergency spending. “The governors are impatient. I’m a big fan of Governor Cuomo. My own governor, Gavin Newsom, has been so spectacular, my mayor, Mayor Breed. State and local have done their job magnificently. They should be impatient. Their impatience will help us get an even bigger number,” she remarked.
Trump weighs in
Not that any encouragement is really needed: Cuomo kept pressing the issue at his Monday coronavirus press briefing, where he thanked Kentucky’s governor Andy Beshear for speaking “truth to power” — seriously? — against McConnell for suggesting that states file for bankruptcy, rather than seek a bailout. The Democrat also complained that New York pays more than it takes out from federal coffers.
“This is not about money. It’s about working together,” Cuomo said at his press briefing. “But if you wanna make it about money, you’re making a mistake. Because you’re gonna lose on a tally sheet,” he added.
Cuomo called McConnell’s comments about bankruptcy “one of the really dumb ideas of all time” last week, as RealClearPolitics reported. But President Trump, who has expressed openness about getting the funding into the next bill, wondered on Twitter Monday why “poorly run” states and cities with Democratic leaders should get bailed out.
Might Cuomo start opening his state, instead of begging for bailouts and keeping the economy shut indefinitely? The governor has extended his state’s “stay at home” order until May 15 — at least.
It looks like even Democrats are getting tired of Cuomo’s incessant complaining.