NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Trump administration is taking action to cut more federal funds to New York City, which would affect how schools and subways get cleaned.
New York has already gotten $1.3 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will likely need more, but now, FEMA will be taking away funds, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reports.
FEMA had been helping cover costs of disinfecting schools, subways and other areas, like government offices.
Now, they will pull funding, claiming they don’t qualify as emergency protective measures.
MTA Chairman Patrick Foye said the message is from “Washington to MTA customers and employees: Drop Dead.”
He released the following statement Thursday:
“The message from this latest punitive measure, coupled with the federal government’s inexplicable failure to provide $12 billion in desperately needed funding is clear — Washington to MTA customers and employees: Drop Dead. With this action, the federal government seems intent on starving the economic lifeblood of not just New York, but the nation at a time when the MTA is simply trying to keep people safe during the worst pandemic in a century.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the move, saying the president is “telling essential workers that he does not value their safety or sacrifices over the last six months.”
“I believe the president is fundamentally a bully, which I’ve said to you many times. I’ve known him very well for a very long period of time,” he said.
This comes a day after the president ordered the beginning of a process to defund New York City, potentially costing it some $7 billion.
“The Supreme Court has spoken to this issue, that you cannot hold back federal funding over a political difference,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The governor says President Donald Trump is targeting New York to score political points.
The president was in Pennsylvania for an airport rally Thursday, bragging about his plans to take funding from New York and three other cities — Washington, Seattle and Portland.
“These people are crazy,” Trump told the crowd. “Now what we’re doing is we’re holding back funds for cities that don’t know what they are doing where they allow crime to run rampant.”
Earlier this year, the president also threatened to strip funding from so-called sanctuary cities. Under the Constitution, state funds are controlled by Congress, not the president.
“He does not have the authority to defund any cities in this nation,” Congresswoman Yvette Clark said.
As for the new FEMA cuts, they are nationwide, but New York is hardest hit, followed by California.
Sen. Chuck Schumer says he had a call with the FEMA director but says he got no clear explanation for the cuts.
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