“Governor Cuomo used his daily briefing as an opportunity to attack me to distract from the fact that he wants his state bailed out by Florida taxpayers,” he said in a statement Thursday. “It’s irresponsible and reckless to take money from American taxpayers and use it to save liberal politicians like Cuomo from the consequences of their poor choices. Floridians shouldn’t have to backfill New York’s state budget and pension fund.”
Scott proceeded to list a series of questions for Cuomo’s next briefing, implying the New York governor mismanaged the Empire State’s funds and asking what steps the state has taken to protect its “underfunded pension system.”
Democrats are pushing for more money for state and local governments in the next coronavirus relief package, but Republicans are voicing concern that that money could go toward other state matters, like pensions. While that logic might apply to New Jersey and Illinois, both of which have struggled with their pension systems, New York’s pension fund is overall doing far better.
Cuomo, during a press conference Wednesday, chastised Scott and said that New York state bails out Florida annually.
“They’re not bailing us out,” Cuomo said . “We bail them out every year.”
Scott, along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), sent a letter Thursday to President Donald Trump urging him to “reject efforts by some states to use federal tax dollars for reasons unrelated to combatting coronavirus.” The letter hit New York once again for “calling for billions in unrestricted aid.”
Cuomo is not the first New York politician Scott has tussled with. Last year, he lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) over disaster aid to Puerto Rico, leading to a bitter Twitter exchange.
Nick Niedzwiadek contributed to this report.