Congressman Brindisi leads coalition of elected officials, Mayor David, County Executive Garnar and state and local leaders in call to action for new COVID relief bill
Congressman Anthony Brindisi, joined by state, county, city and local leaders, announced his bipartisan call to action for a new COVID-19 relief bill. Brindisi outlined key components of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus framework to deliver critical aid to states, cities, counties, school districts and more.
Brindisi, Binghamton Mayor Rich David, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, State Senator Fred Akshar, State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, County Legislature Chairman Dan Reynolds and local education and childcare advocates talked about potential cuts to services and the impending crisis the community faces.
As states, cities, counties and school districts face steep budget cuts and Washington sits on its hands, Brindisi said he’s led a groundswell of local support from Democrats, Republicans and Independents for a new COVID package. Earlier this week, outside the Capitol, Brindisi and the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, revealed a framework to cut through partisan division and gridlock in Congress.
“There is too much at stake to allow partisan politics and Washington gridlock to get in the way of doing the right thing,” Brindisi said. “We stand here today, united not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans and New Yorkers to tell Washington to get it together and pass a new relief package. Our schools, cities, counties, workers, families, small businesses and communities need it.”
Brindisi and the local stakeholders outlined what is at stake in these negotiations and demanded a path forward. Binghamton school officials, childcare advocates and local elected leaders indicated their support for a new COVID relief plan.
“The hardworking people I represent don’t give a damn about the latest tweets from Republican or Democrat politicians,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “They care about being able to pay their bills on time. They care about ensuring their kids get a good education. They care about keeping food on the table.
”We don’t have time for political posturing. We don’t have time for games, and we damn sure don’t have time for governors to hold their own people hostage and use them as political pawns. I’ve heard the governor often call this time of year political silly season, but there’s nothing silly about slashing our school budgets by 20 percent across the board after the budgets had already been approved and the funding set aside. There’s nothing silly about forcing hundreds of layoffs to try and score political points while still wasting billions on failed economic development projects and hundreds of millions on tax credits for Hollywood movie producers, free college tuition for illegal immigrants and taxpayer funded political campaigns.
“This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, this is about the everyday lives of millions of New Yorkers. They’re not a political football, they are hardworking, taxpaying men and women and they deserve better. Enough is enough.”
“Our state and local governments, schools, hospitals, non-profits and others have stepped up to face this pandemic on the front lines,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “Now it’s time for the federal government to have our backs. Without help from Washington, we are facing unprecedented cuts to vital programs and services the public relies on. I sincerely appreciate Congressman Brindisi‘s advocacy on our behalf; it’s long past time for the Congress and the president to come to an agreement on a stimulus bill needed by every state in the nation, not just the ‘blue’ states.”
“The need for this aid from the federal government is critical in Broome County,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “Our county employees have been on the front lines fighting this pandemic and, as we face major revenue shortfalls, the time is now for Washington to give us the support we need. Thank you to Congressman Brindisi for working on this issue and supporting our local municipalities and county government.”
“Broome County is facing unprecedented fiscal challenges due to lost revenue from COVID-19 and the governor withholding aid payments for services that the state mandates that we provide,” said Broome County Legislature Chairman Dan Reynolds. “When Broome County faces problems, leaders of both parties come together in a bipartisan way to address them head-on. We urge our Federal government leaders of both parties to do the same and directly assist local governments and schools in helping us through these difficult times.”
“It’s critical — Congress must pass a coronavirus relief bill that provides direct aid for states and localities,” said Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David, President of the New York Conference of Mayors. “This is about supporting the local governments that pay our police officers, firefighters and other essential personnel and have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis we did not create.
“America’s cities are on the front lines of this public health crisis, and cuts to our budgets affect neighborhoods and families. I call on lawmakers of both parties to put aside partisan differences and agree on a relief bill that works for America’s local governments and taxpayers.”
“SUNY Broome is proud to host Congressman Brindisi in support of his efforts pushing Congress to support childcare during this most challenging of environments for both parents and children,” said SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm. “Where I also serve as co-chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, I hear almost every day how critical expanding access to childcare is for getting people back to work.”
“I would like to thank Congressman Brindisi for focusing today on the critical role child care plays in building back our economy and maintaining equity in recovery for all families,” said Deborah Fitzgerald, executive director Cub Care Children’s Center, Vestal past president, New York Association for the Education of Young Children. “I request his support in prioritizing inclusion in the next stimulus package of the full $50 billion in funding required to stabilize child care in our nation for the next six months.”
“I thank Congressman Brindisi for convening this important event,” said BOCES Superintendent Allen Buyck. “There is too much at stake for our students and schools across the state. Education of our students is difficult enough as we try to balance both remote and in person learning, and if this issue is not resolved, our students will suffer the consequences.
“More than ever, our schools, students and families need this support. We hope Washington follows Anthony’s bipartisan, thoughtful lead and gets something done.”
Brindisi highlighted the PSC’s proposed path forward and emphasized the dire need for action. Additionally, he highlighted the House-passed and Brindisi-backed Child Care Is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act as provisions that needed to get to President Trump’s desk.
“Communities across the Southern Tier are facing steep cuts,” Brindisi said. “We’ve demonstrated here today that this goes beyond party lines. The Problem Solvers Caucus put together a framework that everyone in Washington should take a long, hard look at. Our communities, educators, law enforcement and frontline heroes have sacrificed so much to get us this far in the pandemic; Washington needs to get this done.”
A full breakdown of the PSC’s framework to move forward can be found HERE.