"I urge the United States Senate to allow an up or down vote on legislation that will protect New York's nascent economic recovery and the fragile recovery nationwide. Congress has been considering enhanced Medicaid funding for the states for over six months, and quick action on final passage is now critical. I appreciate the hard work of many in our congressional delegation who fight for Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), unemployment insurance (UI) and other important social safety net programs for New Yorkers.
"Here in New York, we continue to make the difficult choices needed to close the historic $9.2 billion deficit we face this year. The proposed six-month FMAP extension is worth over $2 billion to the State financial plan over two quarters, plus nearly $1 billion to New York City and the counties. Additionally, the proposed extension of unemployment insurance will reach eighty-seven thousand New Yorkers across the State. While I understand and support the desire to restrain and pay for federal spending, cutting funding for mandatory safety net programs during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression will have devastating consequences.
"The most important thing we can do to avoid making our long-term deficit problem worse is to get the economy back on its feet. Federal and State government should continue to work together to ensure that Americans who have been hurt by this economic downturn receive the support they need and states do not become a drag on the economic recovery that Americans so badly need."