NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City officials are watching the vote count in the presidential election because who wins could have a major effect on the financial health of the region and its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Think of Election 2020 as a train barreling into the station. Depending on who wins, New Yorkers could be on the train to economic recovery or under the train, crushed.

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“The fiscal health of this region absolutely hangs in the balance,” media strategist Javier Lacayo told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer on Wednesday.

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The numbers are truly stark. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs over $10 billion, City Hall needs over $13 billion and Albany needs over $60 billion.

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And since Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been frequent critics of President Donald Trump, if he wins a second term political pundits predict it could be tough sledding — a financial recovery on the local tracks, not the express.

“If federal aid doesn’t come in, either during a lame duck Donald Trump over the next couple of months or if he wins the presidency for another four years, you could be looking at billions of dollars in cuts becoming permanent,” Lacayo said.

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De Blasio was grilled about the fiscal implications of the election.

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“Without federal assistance you’re talking about a much longer, slower recovery. It makes no sense to have us have to struggle our way through without help,” the mayor said.

It could mean service cuts, tax hikes and, for the MTA, fare and toll hikes, but experts say that even if Joe Biden wins he could also have trouble delivering for the metropolitan region because Republicans could still control the Senate.

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That prospect has put pressure on key members of the New York Congressional Delegation to negotiate a stimulus package.

“Whoever is president, we’re going to have to come together to crush the virus and to provide direct relief to everyday Americans who are struggling,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said.

“We have to go back and fight to make sure that we provide the resources for this economy to get back on track,” Rep. Nydia Velazquez added.

The need for federal aid is critical to the MTA, which is facing the worst fiscal crisis in history. Without an infusion of capital, officials will be forced to propose draconian cuts at the next board meeting in two weeks.


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