New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin has broken with President Trump — telling The Post that a federal bailout for coronavirus-stricken states is urgently needed instead of “hyperbolic partisan fights.”
The Republican lawmaker — whose hard-hit Suffolk and Nassau County district has seen more than 60,000 cases — said bankruptcy was not an option for state and local governments after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested they just go broke.
“There is a need to help get state and local governments through this moment,” he said.
“New York has been hit by far the worst on the planet. There needs to be some perspective,” Zeldin said on Monday after the president tweeted his opposition to bailouts for “poorly run” Democratic states.
“The spirit of New Yorkers is that if any other state in the country was hit as hard as we were hit with the revenue and expenditure impacts that come with this circumstance, New York would be all in to help any other state in the country,” Zeldin continued.
“That spirit of advocacy leads me as a New Yorker to be all in to help fellow Americans,” he added. “I don’t believe that now is a good time for heated rhetoric, now is not a time for hyperbolic partisan fights.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly raised the alarm over the Empire State’s dire economic situation, calling on the administration to open its federal coffers to pay for essential services like police, hospital workers and firefighters.
The Big Apple has made $6 billion in cuts from its next budget, and a recent report predicts the city could lose nearly $10 billion in tax revenue alone by mid-2021.
Cuomo lashed McConnell’s suggestion these were “blue state bailouts,” saying New York contributed more in federal taxes than any other state.
Zeldin, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said fiscally responsible towns in his Long Island district such as Brookhaven had since been slugged with a $12 million deficit from both the cost of dealing with the COVID-19 and a loss of revenue.
“Anyone looking to identify the reality of New York’s fiscal situation before the outbreak needs to understand the fiscal impact during and after the outbreak and provide the necessary support for survival,” he said
“That doesn’t mean that the federal government has the responsibility of bailing out every state and local government around the country for fiscal decisions,” he added.
The Big Apple congressman on Monday successfully pushed the Federal Reserve to expand a $500 billion provision providing liquidity to state and local governments so that Suffolk County, a region of 1.5 million people, could meet the 2 million qualifying threshold.