ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo dared Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to sponsor and pass a federal bill allowing cash-strapped states thanks to the coronavirus’ hit to state revenues to declare bankruptcy.
“You would need to change the federal law. I challenge McConnell to pass that law,” the third-term Democrat taunted during an afternoon conference call with reporters Monday where he was also joined by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, also a Democrat.
“I challenge McConnell to do what he said and even propose the law to bankrupt states. He should propose it if he was telling the truth.”
McConnell — whose office did not respond to a request for comment — suggested in April that states facing severe budget shortfalls tied to losses associated with COVID-19 should declare bankruptcy.
“Propose the law to bankrupt states and watch the markets plummet overnight and they think they’re going to help bring jobs back, they’re going to help the economy? That’s what you’re proposing to do? To bankrupt states?” he continued.
“Then do it. Do it Senator McConnell, do what you said you were going to do.”
“It’s all baloney,” he added.
He also blasted President Trump’s latest executive orders signed over the weekend that would greenlight additional unemployment funds — down to $400 per week compared to the last package’s $600. States will also be required to pick up 25 percent of the tab.
The Empire State faces a $30 billion dollar deficit over the next two-years tied to the pandemic, according to state budget officials.
Cuomo has warned for months if additional federal aid doesn’t come to New York, the state’s education, health and local government annual budgets may see a 20 percent hit.
McConnell’s office didn’t respond directly to Cuomo’s targeted criticisms, but instead pointed The Post to the Senator’s floor speech Monday defending the GOP’s stance in the debate over federal funding.
“Clearly this isn’t really about COVID at all. Democrats think they smell an opening they have wanted for years — to make Uncle Sam bail out decades of mismanagement and broken policies in places like New York, New Jersey, and California,” he said.
“And so they’ve decided that no working family anywhere in America can get another cent unless they get to create a trillion-dollar slush fund for mismanaged states, completely out of proportion to pandemic needs,” he added.