ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanded President Donald Trump act in support of a COVID-19 relief bill “in the next 48 hours” in a letter addressed to the commander-in-chief Saturday.
Cuomo is asking Trump to force Congress to not only pass a bill but include “real financial relief” for families, as well as state and local governments. He also wants the president to find compromise on legal limitations on corporate liability.
“Time is short. Congress must act on the COVID-19 bill in the next 48 hours. Let’s also put aside principle and policy concerns and consider your own reputation and legacy,” Cuomo wrote.
The governor appealed to Trump’s sense of legacy by pointing out that he is due to be replaced in a month after losing the 2020 election.
“This is your last act,” Cuomo added. “You will sign this COVID legislation and be accountable for its results. President-Elect Joe Biden’s first act will be repairing the damage done in your last act.”
Cuomo also said that Trump and Trump alone was responsible for his party’s side of the negotiations on COVID-19 relief.
“Senator [Mitch] McConnell is irrelevant. You control the Republican Party, as was just demonstrated by the Texas lawsuit against democracy. You will decide and be held accountable for the consequences of this urgently-needed COVID legislation.”
The government was funded for the weekend to try and get a deal done before Christmas. The Associated Press reported earlier Saturday that negotiators are down to a handful of remaining issues as they seek to finalize an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package. There’s optimism the overdue talks would soon produce an agreement.
The Senate convened a Saturday session, while House members stood by for a vote that will come no earlier than Sunday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a provision by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey that would curb emergency Federal Reserve powers was the biggest hurdle to a sealing a deal. Democrats said Toomey’s stand on the Fed would deprive President-elect Biden of crucial tools to manage the economy.
“American families not receiving checks will be personal tragedies that people will understand,” Cuomo wrote at the letter’s end. “National economic turmoil caused by failed state economies, an incompetent federal vaccine program, and more American deaths are the realities you are facing. Indeed, if you are right, and politics is akin to show business, remember that Scrooge was never loved, watching Americans die never earned anyone high ratings, and national recessions are not produced by successful television businessmen, or hosts of The Apprentice.”
You can read Gov. Cuomo’s letter in its entirety here.