I am trying to find the right words. Is it “hate” or “jealousy”?
I am not sure what is the right label for us East Coast residents, but it seems that a substantial number of Republican U.S. Senate and House members have a built-in hostility for our coastal residents.
This dislike goes back many years and may even be tied to the Civil War.
Every time an eastern state asks for help from certain Congress members, they are met with a mean rebuff and a tirade. One great example is the first responders from 9/11, many of whom have died from various toxins on the World Trade Center site.
Considering that 3,000 innocent people died in the terrorist attack and thousands of first responders risked their lives seeking to save others, New York City should be considered hallowed ground.
Nevertheless, it took years and years before the Long Island congressional delegation and the rest of the statewide elected officials finally got the Congress to approve a long-term extension of disability payments for the heroes on the ground.
The fight against giving this money was led by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the party’s majority leader. A vast number of Republicans from around the country who fought against the aid request backed him up.
Currently, the Republicans are looking for numerous ways to stick it to New York and six other coastal states who are drowning in debt from the COVID-19 tragedy.
The two bills passed by the Congress showed great favoritism to some of the small mid-western states at the expense of us New Yorkers.
Businesses in Nebraska and North Dakota were treated better than suffering New Yorkers. More pandemic hospital gear went to Florida than our health facilities and most of it wasn’t needed.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, who have large populations, are being told that they are not entitled to financial assistance because they are “Blue” states. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has told leader McConnell that we are dealing with life and death and not party registration. Mc Connell went out of his way to single out our state claiming our deficit was due to high pension costs and that we had no legitimate need.
Once McConnell staked out his position he was joined by some of his fellow senators from Iowa, Wisconsin and Arizona, who pledged the the Northeast will get nothing as long as they are in the Senate.
Sen. Scott (R-FL) whose state is home to millions of easterners, chimed in with his own diatribe against the northern states.
What is fascinating about this mean-spirited attack against New York is that these same senators are not reluctant to visit Wall Street to beg for campaign cash.
Three years ago when Senator Marco Rubio spoke out against money for the dying first responders, Congressman Peter King told Wall Street money people to withhold contributions to Rubio or any other member who opposed the 9/11 aid.
The facts are the facts. New York State has almost 400,000 reported cases of COVID-19, the most in the country. Our hospitals and their personnel have been under enormous strain in order to keep up with this terrible disease. We are paying a high premium for gowns, masks, serums and other desperately needed items, and in most cases, it is the federal government that is outbidding us when we seek these supplies.
The federal government has stopped shipments of medical supplies when they arrive at the ports and airline drops have been intercepted to keep them from getting here.
Police and firefighters are working long shifts in order to keep up with the emergency demands of sick people. Sad stories about the death of first responders and local people fill the media reports every day.
As a former state legislator who crafted budgets for 12 years, the state’s deficits are connected to the number of people who are Medicaid patients and the high demand for human service needs.
School districts have always been given a high priority in the state budget, but this year they will face dramatic cuts. That means higher school taxes and guess who will pay the bill?
So the state’s fiscal crises is directly tied to the high cost of health, education and people’s needs. The Republican claim that our deficits are tied to pension costs is an outright lie.
But if I have to choose between jealousy or hate for us coastal states I think both words apply.