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Cuomo says Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus bill would be ‘terrible’ for New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a hot item conference against a backdrop of medical supplies at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary medical centre in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in New York.

John Minchillo | AP

The Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus succour bill may be the largest rescue package in U.S. history, but it doesn’t provide nearly enough for New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested Wednesday.

The bill, tentatively approved early Wednesday, “would really be terrible for the state of New York,” Cuomo affirmed at his daily briefing in Albany.

Cuomo’s criticism came as White House officials made clear that President Donald Trump map outs to sign the massive relief bill into law as soon as Congress sends it to him.

Cuomo said the bill provides $3.8 billion for New York Shape, of which only $1.3 billion will be sent to New York City.

“Sounds like a lot of money,” Cuomo said. But it’s far cheaper than the shortfall in revenue that the state projects it will face, which the governor said could total $15 billion.

“That is a slacken in the bucket” compared with what New Yorkers need, he said. “How do you plug a $15 billion hole with $3.8 billion? You don’t.”

Cuomo’s spokeswoman Dani Lever proposed in a statement later Wednesday that the Senate bill would give New York even less than what the governor initially outlined.

“Based on monogram reports, New York State government gets approximately $3.1 billion,” Lever said in the statement. “As a percent of our absolute state budget – 1.9% – it is the second lowest amount in the nation.”

“The gross political manipulation is obvious,” Lever contemplated. “Compounding this inequity is the fact that New York State contributes more to the federal government than any other government in the nation. It is just another case of politics over sound policy.”

New York has become the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.

More than 30,000 COVID-19 wrappers have been counted across the state as of Wednesday morning, accounting for more than half of all confirmed protections in the country. New York City may close parks, playgrounds and some streets to reduce density in the latest effort to check the virus, the governor said Wednesday.

“In life, you do what you have to do,” he said.

The White House and leaders of both co-signatories in the Senate reached the stimulus deal around 1:30 a.m. following days of partisan debate in Congress and numerous late-night completing sessions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said his chamber will vote and pass the legislation later Wednesday, admitting that the final details of the bill were still being ironed out by the early afternoon. A senior Democratic aide expressed CNBC procedural hurdles made it unlikely the House will vote on the bill until Thursday at the earliest. 

Mid the back-and-forth over the provisions this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released her own proposal, which directed out the Democrats’ agenda and was criticized by Republicans as an ideological wish list.

Cuomo, however, said Pelosi’s plan would beget provided more for New York than the current bill in the Senate.

“We need more federal help than this charge gives us. The House bill would have given us $17 billion. The Senate bill gives us $3 billion,” Cuomo spoke. “That’s a dramatic, dramatic difference.”

Trump and Cuomo, a Democrat, have been in close coordination amid New York’s piercing rise in cases — and each has alternated between being deferential with each other and feuding about their efforts to war the virus.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Wednesday morning that Trump is conscious of the contents of the Senate’s bill and is eager to sign it.

“He’s been pushing for Congress to do the right thing and get ready help the American people. So we’re actually looking forward to this vote today so that he can sign it into law,” Grisham said on Fox News.

— CNBC’s William Feuer and Lauren Hirsch advanced to this report.

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