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Cuomo says de Blasio didn't fit needs for Puerto Rico trip

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 20,

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 20, 2015, during an appearance in Utica. On Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2015, he explained the delegation he is taking to Puerto Rico. Credit: AP / Mark DiOrio

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday that he didn't invite New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to be on his delegation to Puerto Rico that will include a half-dozen elected officials because he wants to provide expertise in finance and health care to the island in fiscal crisis.

The mayor with whom Cuomo has been publicly feuding has confirmed he wasn't invited on Cuomo's Sept. 7 trip.

"We are going to put together a delegation that has elected officials, has expertise in health care, finance, etc.," Cuomo said Wednesday after a Manhattan news conference. It was the latest Cuomo news conference to run at the same time as a de Blasio media event in the city.

"We are going down and will help any way we can," Cuomo said of his Puerto Rico delegation. "It was basically what the governor of Puerto Rico and officials of Puerto Rico asked for -- with specific expertise, basically in the are of finance . . . and health care because their health care costs are going up so high and then we [included] elected Puerto Rican officials for obvious reasons."

On Monday Cuomo announced that his delegation would include city Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn) as well as state health and Medicaid officials.

"When times are tough we stand side by side and offer whatever help we can," Cuomo said in Monday's announcement.

De Blasio had no comment on the Puerto Rico trip Wednesday.

_With Emily Ngo, Matthew Chayes.


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