NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “we’re transitioning to a new chapter on reopening” after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday.

The governor wants to use the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to repair the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, while helping to revive the economy.

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Cuomo has previously highlighted several large-scale projects he’d like to see move forward, including a Penn Station overhaul, a train link to LaGuardia Airport and rebuilding the Hudson River rail tunnels.

“If he gives us the green light, this is not going to be years of discussion. I have a shovel in the trunk of my car. We’ll start this afternoon, right?” Cuomo said.


The governor pointed out that the president understands the need to build, saying when Trump campaigned for the White House he called for a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that was a key part of his platform, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

“He’s a developer. He gets it,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo continued to urge the federal government to pass a stimulus bill that would help state and local governments, saying there can be no recovery if states are not given help.

“This hyper-partisan Washington environment is toxic for this country,” the governor said, critiquing those who have decried the notion of a “blue state bailout.”

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“New York pays more every year [to the federal government] — $29 billion more — every year than it takes back,” Cuomo said.

He said it was hypocritical for politicians to say they’re opposed to redistribution of wealth when their states take more from the federal government than they put in.

Cuomo said helping states in need because of the coronavirus pandemic is the right thing to do.

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“Pass a piece of legislation that is honorable and decent and does the right thing for all Americans. Why is that so hard?” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said there is a massive amount of infrastructure work to be done in the United States.

“You want to supercharge the reopening? That’s how you do it,” he said. “We’re still living on the infrastructure built by our grandparents, not even our parents.”

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The governor said he had a good discussion with President Trump and it must’ve gone well because the pair are scheduled to meet again next week, Kramer reported.