What to Know
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with President Donald Trump Wednesday to discuss "supercharging" the state's economy by accelerating long-overdue infrastructure programs, like a new Penn Station and the LaGuardia AirTrain
- Cuomo also said the federal government can assist in stimulating the economy, citing a "supercharge" reopening track based on tackling infrastructure projects
- The governor mentioned that the need for updated infrastructure is not a new concept. However, the low volume of individuals traveling, as well as the need for jobs, proves that the pandemic is the opportune time to kick off these projects
Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with President Donald Trump Wednesday to discuss "supercharging" the state's economy by accelerating long-overdue infrastructure programs, like a new Penn Station and the LaGuardia AirTrain.
After meeting with the president, Cuomo held his daily coronavirus press briefing saying the country has known for years the need for an infrastructure program.
"Now is the time to stimulate the economy by doing that construction and doing that growth," he said. "You want to supercharge the reopening? That's how you do it. This nation was smart enough to do it before. We did it in the midst of the Great Depression. We created 8 million jobs. We built an infrastructure that we are still living on today."
Cuomo reiterated that the state has big infrastructure projects ready to go that are desperately needed and "that were desperately needed 30 years ago," but that need federal approval.
"That's what we would do if we were smart," he said of the federal government. "You're not going to have a supercharged economy, you're not going to see this nation get up and start running again unless we do it together."
The governor previously said it's time to fully turn the page in the battle against the coronavirus. Earlier this week, Cuomo shifted to a two-track plan -- one track is to monitor regional reopenings. Cuomo also said the federal government can assist in stimulating the economy, citing a "supercharge" reopening track based on tackling infrastructure projects. However, he needs the federal government funding in order to do so.
"This country has done it in the past where we have engaged in major public works that made the nation better and when we did it, we stimulated the economy. You look at all the great things that this nation did: building the Hoover Dam, the Lincoln Tunnel, all these magnificent public improvements that made the nation a nation and created thousands of jobs at the same time," Cuomo said during Tuesday's coronavirus briefing.
The governor mentioned that the need for updated infrastructure is not a new concept. However, the low volume of individuals traveling, as well as the need for jobs, proves that the pandemic is the opportune time to kick off these projects, Cuomo said.
"Everyone has been talking about the need to do major infrastructures in this nation – every president: Democrat, Republican," he said Tuesday, adding: "If there is ever a time to actually take on this overdue need of major infrastructure construction, now is the time. There is no better time to build than right now. You need to restart the economy, you need to create jobs and you need to renew and repair this country’s economy and its infrastructure."
On Tuesday, Cuomo said "New York will lead the way" as it looks to accelerate its big infrastructure projects. The projects include:
- The Empire Station Project would bring a new Penn Station to New York City. "That is long overdue. That Penn Station has been torturing people for too long. Let's now accelerate the Empire Penn project while the ridership is low and when we need the jobs," Cuomo said.
- The LaGuardia AirTrain project would connect the airport to the center of city. "New York City is one of the only major cities that has no train from the airport into the central city," the governor said, adding that since passengers and the number of flights are low it would be the time to kickstart the project.
- The Cross-Hudson Tunnels project would create new tunnels for Amtrak since the once currently in use are old and crumbling. "If [the tunnels] become a problem they would literally stop Amtrak travel to the entire Northeast, Cuomo said.
"You have an infrastructure that’s crumbling, you need to restart the economy, we need to create jobs. Do it now," Cuomo said.
The governor also said Tuesday that he would look into kickstarting projects that "we have been talking about for a long time but never really pulled the trigger on" like increasing low-cost renawable power to downstate and production upstate by building of new cross-state transmission cables.
"You want to restart the economy? You want to reopen the economy? Let’s do something creative. Let’s do it fast. Let’s put Americans back to work. Let's make America better. Its common sense," Cuomo previously said.
On Wednesday, Cuomo said that the meeting with Trump resulted in "a good discussion. He understands what we need and he said he was going to be talking about it with his team and we'll talk next week."