'Taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook for NY's failure,' tweeted Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).
Republican lawmakers slammed Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) this week over the fact that New York will be getting $2 billion in federal funding to fight COVID — but the funding is the result of a federal change that will be equally applied to help all the other states, too.
There's no doubt New York has been in dire straits lately. It has suffered 1.24 million cases and 40,000 deaths since the pandemic began. With its COVID numbers soaring once again, the state received 50,000 fewer vaccines last week than promised by the federal government.
But Republicans see no reason that the federal government should help Cuomo "backfill budget gaps" with a "bailout".
"There is absolutely no reason President-elect @JoeBiden should hand out $2B in @fema emergency funds to his friend @NYGovCuomo," tweeted Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) Monday, tweeting a link to his own Fox News interview. "This bailout to backfill budget gaps caused by his own mismanagement has nothing to do with COVID. Taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook for NY's failure."
On Saturday, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) also slammed Cuomo for supposed "incompetence."
"Governor Cuomo has his deception and incompetence on full display, and enough is enough," Reed wrote in a Facebook post. "Thousands of nursing home residents died due to HIS policy, countless vaccine doses have been poured down the drain due to HIS policy, and New Yorkers can't navigate the convoluted vaccine signup sites -- and that's if they're lucky that the site hasn't crashed."
Reed added that "when he's questioned about ANY of it, it's someone else's fault."
But the $2 billion in additional funding New York will be receiving is not some kind of special treatment or "handout" to Cuomo from the President-elect as GOP lawmakers claim.
Biden plans to take immediate administrative action when he takes office to change the Federal Emergency Management Agency's current reimbursement rate for states' emergency COVID-19 costs. The current reimbursement rate is 75%, and that will be increased to 100% — which will result in an extra $2 billion in emergency funding for New York, and a proportional amount for other states.
It's true that New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer claims to have urged Biden to increase the reimbursement rate, but the new change will apply to all state and local governments.
Of the plan, Cuomo said: "Nearly a year ago, President Trump promised FEMA would reimburse 100 percent of New York's expenses, but, like many of his promises, the President reneged and New Yorkers suffered."
Scott and Reed certainly aren't the first Republicans to act like COVID deaths in blue states shouldn't be their problem.
On Sept. 16, Donald Trump famously remarked that the United States would have very low death rates if you "take the blue states out."
"So we're down in this territory," he said. "And that's despite the fact that the blue states had tremendous death rates. If you take the blue states out, we're at a level that I don't think anybody in the world would be at. We're really at a very low level."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.