New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the amount of money the city would receive from the coronavirus stimulus bill approved by the U.S. Senate was “just immoral” in a news briefing Wednesday night.
According to recent data, New York has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. with New York City reporting over 20,000 cases of the illness.
Out of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, New York City would only receive $1 billion, an amount de Blasio did not consider to be enough.
“We are one-third of the cases in this country right now,” de Blasio said. “Someone do the math down there in Washington in the Senate Republican Majority. They gave us less than 1 percent of the money that they were giving out to cities and states and we have a third of cases in the nation. That is just immoral.”
Mayor de Blasio laid the blame for New York’s allocation of money directly at the feet of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“It should have been one of the easiest no-brainers in the world for the U.S. Senate to include real money for New York City and New York State in this stimulus bill,” de Blasio said. “And yet it didn’t happen and we know why—because Mitch McConnell wouldn’t let it happen.”
“I don’t understand how anybody, any public servant, could live with themselves if they deprive cities in the middle of the biggest crisis since the Great Depression—deprive us, deprive the state—of the money we need,” de Blasio said.
Newsweek reached out to McConnell’s office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the stimulus package would “really be terrible for the state of New York.” While New York State would receive an allocation of $3.8 billion, Cuomo said the state was facing “a revenue shortfall” of around $15 billion.
“This response to this virus has probably already cost us $1 billion,” Cuomo said, “and it will probably cost us several billion dollars when we’re done.”
“I’m telling you these numbers don’t work,” Cuomo added, “and I told the House members that we really need their help.”
If the coronavirus economic relief package is passed by U.S. lawmakers, President Donald Trump is expected to approve it.
“I encourage the House to pass this vital legislation and send the bill to my desk for a signature without delay,” Trump said at a news briefing Wednesday. “I will sign it immediately.”
Among the provisions included in the proposed legislation are direct payments of $1,200 to single Americans with adjusted gross incomes of less than $75,000. Married couples would receive $2,400 and parents of children under the age of 17 would receive $500 for each minor child.
Medicare payments for coronavirus treatment would see a 20 percent raise. Hospitals across the U.S. would also be allocated funds from $150 billion that would be made available through the legislation.