Federal and state governments must work together; no time for politics, says Cuomo

Photo by Mike Groll, Office of the Governor
Gov. Andrew Cuomo looks forward to working with President Trump in “partnership and cooperation,” and stresses the importance of a strong relationship between the federal and state governments while preparations begin for the economy to reopen.

In response to President Trump’s recent comments about having absolute control over re-starting the economy, and then a string of tweets about ungrateful and mutinous governors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed the importance of a positive federal-state relationship to fight COVID-19 in his Tuesday press conference. 

In a Tuesday morning tweet, President Trump stated, “Tell the Democrat Governors that ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!”

Governor Cuomo said President Trump was “clearly unhappy,” in regards to how governors are operating during this time. 

From early on in this crisis, Cuomo stressed the importance of putting politics to the side so that lawmakers can work together efficiently.

“The worst thing we can do in all of this is start with political division and start with partisanship,” Cuomo said. “The best thing we have done throughout these past 44 days, is we’ve worked together and we haven’t raised political flags, even in this hyper-partisan environment, even though it is an election year.”

The partisanship stems from disagreements between some states and the federal government over when the economy should be reopened.

Cuomo helped organize a compact of seven northeast states in an effort to restore the region’s economy with safe and careful steps, focusing on easing isolation and increasing virus testing to determine who can safely go back to work.

A similar cooperative agreement has formed on the West coast with California, Oregon and Washington agreeing to work together to re-open their economies and their schools once it is safe.

President Trump stated Monday at a press conference that the decision on when to re-open businesses is fully his own. He tweeted on April 13, “It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons.” 

However, the governor quoted Alexander Hamilton in both the Tuesday press conference and in a tweet to show the importance and power that state governments hold. 

“Our founding fathers understood, and we have to remember today that the balance between the state and the federal, that magnificent balance that is articulated in our constitution, is the essence of our democracy,” Cuomo said.

President Trump also tweeted, “Cuomo’s been calling daily, even hourly, begging for everything, most of which should have been the state’s responsibility, such as new hospitals, beds, ventilators, etc. I got it all done for him, and everyone else, and now he seems to want Independence! That won’t happen!”

At the press conference, Governor Cuomo asked, “Where is the funding for states to help do this?”

“I’m broke,” Cuomo said. “There is no fancy way to say that we have a $10 billion deficit. I don’t have two nickels to rub together. And the past legislation didn’t give us anything.” 

During his press conference, Governor Cuomo recalled a poster that he saw in grade school at Saint Gerard Majella in Queens. It read, “Suppose they gave a war and nobody came.”

Cuomo applied this sentiment to his current relationship with President Trump and stated  “sometimes it takes more strength, frankly, to walk away from a fight than engage it.”

“The President will have no fight with me,” Governor Cuomo said. “I will not engage in it.”

I look forward to working with the President in partnership and cooperation.”

Despite the belief that he has ultimate authority over the reopening, President Trump included in a tweet, “Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”