NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City needs help, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
De Blasio again appealed to the federal government to come across with a stimulus bill to support state and local governments who are struggling to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
De Blasio praised a bill in the House called Stimulus Four.
“What we see is states all across the country truly need it to get back on their feet,” de Blasio said.
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The proposed bill includes $17 billion in aid to New York City over two years.
“This plan, by providing $17 billion, actually gives us the ability to move forward,” de Blasio said.
There’s also $34 billion for the state of New York.
“This is exactly the kind of assistance that we need to get to be able to move forward again,” the mayor said. “We need this vision that’s come out of the House to get through the Senate. We know it’s going to be a fight.”
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De Blasio made a personal appeal to President Donald Trump to support the bill, calling him the “difference maker” in this situation.
“Mr. President, we’re looking to you,” the mayor said. He added if the president said he supported the bill, the Republican-led Senate would support it.
WEB EXTRA: See De Blasio’s Presentation Slides (.pdf)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also called for more federal assistance Wednesday, citing the state’s $61 billion funding gap.
“If our budget doesn’t work, who gets cut? Police, firefighters, schools, local governments – the very people who we need to fight this virus and the very people who we all call the essential workers and the heroes who have been doing a great job,” he said. “How do we not give them the support that we need?”
Cuomo said the state also needs funding to expand its testing and tracing program, as well as infrastructure projects.
He said he fears corporations will use the crisis as an excuse to lay off employees, so any subsidies should be tied to worker protections.
“It’s very simple. If a corporation gets a check from the government, that corporation must not lay off any workers. Have the same number of workers after the pandemic that you had before the pandemic,” he said. “Don’t think taxpayers are going to subsidize you, Mr. Corporation, so you can then lay off workers.”
Cuomo said New York’s congressional delegation plans to introduce this idea as part of a so-called “America First Law.” The current House bill also calls for repealing changes to state and local tax (SALT) deductions, which the governor said cost the state about $29 billion per year.
The governor said the city still needs to meet three more benchmarks before it’s ready to reopen. Those benchmarks includ a decline in the number of new hospitalizations and an increase in the total available hospital and ICU beds.
Long Island and the mid-Hudson Valley are missing two benchmarks: a 14-day decline in deaths and the number of new hospitalizations.
Only four regions have met all seven benchmarks: North Country, Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley.