Some States Like New York Could Lose Billions in Stimulus Bill Money the Longer It's Delayed

Some states including New York are set to receive less federal stimulus money from Congress' $3 trillion Heroes Act the longer Senate Republicans hold up passage of the latest coronavirus response legislation.

New York lawmakers, including one Republican, said the state should not be "penalized" for reducing its amount of coronavirus cases. The Heroes Act passed on May 15 awards billions of dollars to states based on their share of the country's COVID-19 infections - which in New York, is rapidly declining. And while state lawmakers acknowledged that this reduction in cases is clearly a positive trend, they expressed concern that Senate Republicans are holding up the stimulus to ensure their respective states receive more despite doing less to stop the spread early on.

New York recorded its lowest-yet number of deaths Saturday, 86, as its downward curve has far outpaced several other states, including North Carolina and others where cases and deaths have actually increased. State lawmakers argued that many "red states" have long been subsidized by large tax bases in "blue states" like New York.

Democratic State Representative Tom Suozzi led several members of Congress in penning a letter last week that highlighted how New York's share of the $49 billion state award program has already dropped by $530 million. That decrease is due to New York's share of overall U.S. cases dropping by 1 percentage point from 24 to 23 percent, the largest decline of any state in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I want our percentage [of COVID-19 cases] to go down. That's good for New York," Suozzi told Newsday on Friday. He continued: "I'll work with others to see if we can advocate to increase the $49 billion dollar fund to be a bigger pot of money."

Newsweek reached out to Suozzi's office for additional comment Saturday morning.

Suozzi has for weeks blasted Senate Republicans, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in particular, tweeting in late April that New York taxpayers "have given the federal government $116 billion more than we've received in federal spending, while Kentucky has RECEIVED $148 billion more in federal spending than they gave. NY subsidizes KY!"

Senate Republicans have repeatedly said they want to temporarily halt any and all federal spending amid the coronavirus pandemic, suddenly citing the country's astronomical debt. As Newsday noted Saturday, New York is still set to receive about $11.3 billion of the $49 billion fund as of last week. But even that amount is down from the $11.8 billion when the House passed the bill May 15. And if Congress waits until the end of June to approve the bill, as some lawmakers have proposed, that amount could fall a further $2.4 billion.

Republican Congressman Peter King, the lone member of the GOP to vote for the Heroes Act in the House, concurred that the Senate should stop holding up the latest round of stimulus aid.

"New York really shouldn't be penalized for success, for doing the right thing," he told Newsday Friday.

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Some states including New York are set to receive less federal stimulus money from Congress' $3 trillion Heroes Act the longer Senate Republicans hold up passage of the latest coronavirus response legislation. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Some States Like New York Could Lose Billions in Stimulus Bill Money the Longer It's Delayed | News