New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t hold back from denouncing a U.S. Senator from Florida on Wednesday. And that Senator gave back in kind.
The Democrat, who had a productive meeting with President Donald Trump about federally funded infrastructure projects, was stinging about Sen. Rick Scott‘s recurrent assertions that New York was looking to get paid on the backs of Florida taxpayers during the coronacrisis.
Scott and others, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, “are lying,” Cuomo told reporters at the National Press Club a couple of blocks from Capitol Hill.
“They know that they take more money … They make it personal to New York and they’re lying.”
Cuomo contended weeks back that Scott, by saying New York was taking from Florida, was “playing the American people.” But that didn’t end the long-running feud, so much as formalize the engagement.
The Senator’s arguments, delivered with metronomic regularity since that statement, clearly have continued to nettle Cuomo, whose meeting with Trump and statements today earned a sharp rejoinder from Scott.
“Today, Governor Cuomo came to DC to beg for a bailout from Florida taxpayers and 48 other states. The federal government has already provided more than $1 trillion in funding and loans to states and local governments to reimburse them for costs associated with the pandemic. This is a FACT,” the Senator noted.
“Congress will continue to do what is necessary to help our country recover. What we won’t do, as long as I am a member of the U.S. Senate, is use a health crisis and taxpayer money to bail out poorly run states like Governor Cuomo’s New York,” Scott vowed, before addressing what he called the “donor state/taker state lie”
“The amount of federal taxes paid and federal benefits received by taxpayers has absolutely nothing to do with the management of state budgets,” Scott said, going on to note that “New York has 2 million fewer people than Florida, but their budget is nearly twice as big.”
“Why? Reckless, irresponsible fiscal mismanagement,” Scott said.
The Senator has jousted with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Capitol Hill, comparing Schumer to Bernie Madoff after Schumer likened Scott to former President Herbert Hoover.
But that’s just a side feud. For Scott, Cuomo seems to be the riper target, allowing for contrast between his tenure as Governor during a prolonged period of economic stability and Cuomo’s tougher choices in the coronavirus-driven collapse of the American economy.