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New York to get $54 billion in pandemic relief, Sen. Chuck Schumer says

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference on Dec. 8.   Credit: TNS/Yuri Gripas

This story was reported by Rachelle Blidner, Jesse Coburn, Lisa L. Colangelo, Michael Gormley, Laura Figueroa Hernandez and David Reich-Hale. It was written by Figueroa Hernandez.

WASHINGTON — New York is poised to receive $54 billion in coronavirus relief funding as part of the more than $900 billion package that was passed by Congress on Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer said.

Schumer (D-N.Y.), who served as a lead negotiator on the relief bill in his role as Senate Minority Leader, said the money includes $9 billion for direct cash payments to eligible New Yorkers, similar to cash payments that were part of the federal CARES Act, which passed in March.

Under the new measure, individuals making up to $75,000 will be eligible for a direct payment of $600. Couples making less than $150,000 will be eligible for $1,200. Individuals and couples who meet the income criteria and have children will be eligible for an additional $600 per child.

"Clearly, there is more to be done," said Schumer in an interview. "This is not a stimulus bill, this is a survival bill, and we will fight for more relief."

Individuals making up to $75,000 will be eligible for a direct payment of $600.

Couples making less than $150,000 will be eligible for $1,200.

Those with children meeting income criteria will be eligible for an additional $600 per child

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, appearing on CNBC on Monday, said he expected direct payments could be issued "at the beginning of next week."

Aside from the direct payments, the money allocated for New York includes funding for schools, the Long Island Rail Road, hospitals and small businesses.

State and local leaders described the measure as a good start, but decried the exclusion of direct aid to state and local governments hardest hit by the pandemic.

While Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, blocked money for state and local governments, Schumer said Democrats were able to negotiate "workarounds" in the aid bill to provide some funding that states and municipalities will be able to direct toward education, transportation and emergency health care needs.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo criticized the deal struck by the Trump administration, the Republican-led Senate and the Democrat-led House. Cuomo said the lack of direct aid to state and local coffers would force layoffs of critical public workers including teachers and health care professionals who will administer coronavirus vaccines.

"We don’t choose in this country who lives and dies. We should be fair to everyone," Cuomo said. "When you don’t fund states and cities, that means they lay off police and teachers … You hurt people."

McConnell had described requests for aid from New York and other hard hit states as a "blue-state bail out."

"I just hope Joe Biden gets in quickly and sanity is restored to the nation," Cuomo said of the Democratic president-elect. Biden has said he will support passage of additional stimulus legislation once he assumes office on Jan. 20.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called the new $900 billion bill "a very good start," saying "the need for relief has never been greater."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said although "this survival package falls short of delivering necessary disaster aid to state and local governments, it does represent a good first step towards helping Americans in need."

Here is a look at some of what New York is expected to receive:

Education $5.8 billion for schools

Transportation $4 billion for the MTA

Health care $1.6 billion for vaccine, testing and tracing efforts

Safety Net Assistance $1.3 billion for rental relief

Small businesses $20 billion for paycheck protection

Entertainment $15 billion (nationally) for theaters, other venues

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