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New York Lawmakers Push For Federal Aid To Local And State Governments

House Television via AP
In this image from video, Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington last month.

Elected officials in New York are pushing for Congress to pass a fifth coronavirus rescue package, this one aimed at state and local governments that have lost tax revenue from closed businesses. President Trump has opposed what he calls “bailouts” and says that only Democratic-led states are suffering from the coronavirus.

The Republicans and Democrats of New York’s congressional delegation, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, all say the virus should not be a partisan issue. But at his daily press briefing, Cuomo predicted that Congress will not pass aid for states unless the president brokers a compromise between Senate Republicans and House Democrats.

“Where he either is reasonable and bridges the gap, or they will not pass any legislation and then he will have failed and this nation will suffer.”

On Long Island, towns and villages have lost millions in revenue because of the pandemic.

U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi says the economic shutdown means local governments have not been able to collect their usual revenue from building permits, parking tickets and recreation fees. 

“It's unanimous. Democrats and Republicans on Long Island and throughout New York State have all signed on to fighting for local governments to get their fair share of money.” 

Suozzi says direct funding to local governments would support first responders, sanitation workers and teachers. 

The entire U.S. House delegation from Long Island wrote to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying another round of federal aid is critical. Senate Republicans have said they want to proceed cautiously with any more federal aid packages.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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