Gov. Cuomo: ‘I dare you’ to let states declare coronavirus bankruptcy in scathing new attack on GOP

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo angrily challenged Republicans to force hard-hit states to declare bankruptcy instead of giving them stimulus aid to cope with the coronavirus crisis.

“Pass the law. I dare you,” he said. “You want to send a signal to the markets that this nation is in real trouble? … I dare you to do that.”

The governor tore into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for suggesting that the GOP wouldn’t fund “blue state bailouts” for New York and other pandemic-stricken states.

He reminded McConnell that New York gives more money to the federal government than it takes back — while Kentucky is near the top of the list of “taker” states.

“New York has bailed you out every year, every year,” Cuomo said, showing flashes of his legendary temper. “Mitch McConnell is a taker, not a giver. New Yorker is a state of givers.”

Cuomo also called out President Donald Trump, who has wavered between vowing to help New York and other state governments and questioning whether they put themselves in a bad fiscal position.

“OK, senator, pass the bill that authorizes states to declare bankruptcy. Sign the bill Mr. President,” Cuomo said, suggesting that such a move would put the lie on Trump’s boasts that the economy will come roaring back.

“Things are going great, crank up demands, stock market wants to take off,” Cuomo said derisively. “Good, pass the bill … and let’s watch how the stock market takes off. I got great news about our economic resilience.”

Even as he tore into Republicans, Cuomo chided the state’s two senators for failing to insist on including aid to states in the just-passed stimulus package.

“Don’t worry, don’t worry, They’re going to do it,” he said, describing the reaction of Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to his complaints about the GOP ploy to stiff state governments. “(Then) McConnell turns around and says: ‘Oh, I am not going to do it.’”

Cuomo announced that the state’s coronavirus death toll has now passed 16,000 as 422 New Yorkers died of the deadly virus in the past day alone.

The daily figure that is continuing to slowly ebb from a high of nearly 800 a day.

“This is at an unimaginable level,” the governor said. “It’s dropping somewhat, but it’s still devastating news.”

He suggested that caseloads and hospitalization rates offer a mixed bag of good and bad news. The state is definitely passed its peak of the pandemic, but new cases are declining more slowly than some models had predicted.


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