Apr 22, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says Trump agreed to push for state funding in next coronavirus bill

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Wednesday that President Trump agreed during a meeting at the White House to work "very hard" to include funding for state governments in the next coronavirus relief package.

Yes, but: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he prefers states be allowed to declare bankruptcy rather than receive federal bailouts.

  • "I said yesterday we’re going to push the pause button here, because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments need to be thoroughly evaluated," McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt.
  • "There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations."

Why it matters: Cuomo has been among the loudest voices sounding the alarm over state budget shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats sought to add state funding to the interim coronavirus bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday, but were ultimately unsuccessful.

  • Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) have proposed a $500 billion fund for state and local governments to be included in Congress' next coronavirus rescue package.

What Cuomo said:

"Help small businesses, that's great. But you have to help state governments because state governments fund the people that the federal government can't fund. State and local governments — we're funding police, fire, teachers, schools. You can't just ignore them. ... We talked to the president about that. The president gets it. He's going to work very hard in the next piece of legislation."

Go deeper: The next economic crisis will hit states and cities

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