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COVID-19 relief plan has $50B in state, local aid for NY, Pelosi says

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on Thursday in Washington.  Credit: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

WASHINGTON — New York overall will get $50 billion in state and local funding and more than $20 billion to support families’ health, financial security and well-being from the massive COVID-19 relief package, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

New York also will get a share of the nationwide $50 billion for testing, $20 billion for vaccine distribution and $8 billion for the public health workforce, according to a letter obtained by Newsday that Pelosi sent Thursday to the New York delegation to the House.

"The Committees are marking up and the House will pass by the end of the month President Biden’s American Rescue Plan," said Pelosi, who with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is prepared to pass the legislation without Republican votes if necessary.

Schumer, who has been engaged in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, expects to get the Senate back to work on the $1.9 trillion relief bill next week, according to an aide. Schumer has been working with Pelosi on the measure.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as chairman of the bipartisan National Governors Association, met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the Oval Office Friday.

"The president and his team made clear that they recognize and appreciate how critical this targeted relief is for our ability to recover from this pandemic," Cuomo said.

"Governors from across the country and the political spectrum have said for months that flexible and direct aid to state and local governments is essential for our continued front-line response to the COVID-19 crisis and our national economic recovery," Cuomo said. "The finish line of this pandemic is in sight, and this support will give states and territories the resources we need to reach it, while continuing to provide the essential services our constituents rely on."

The relief package also will include direct "economic income payments" to qualifying individuals and families, with a total price tab of $12.2 billion; child tax credit payments totaling $7 billion, and $786 million in earned income tax credit payments.

Strapped individuals and families also will be helped with $1.58 billion for rental and homeowner assistance, and $1.1 billion in nutrition assistance.

New York transit systems also will get a hefty boost of $8.8 billion, Amtrak $1.5 billion and New York airports $418 million, according to the letter.

Other big ticket items include: $12.3 billion for education, with $9.5 billion of it for K-12 schools and the rest for higher education; $3.1 billion to the Medicaid FMAP program; $1.8 billion for child care, and $441 million for homeless assistance.

The package will put another $483.6 million into New York State’s small business lending program.

Republicans have signaled they will not support the sweeping legislation. They have proposed amendments to reduce the spending and curtail the proposed benefits, as they cautioned that Democrats were overspending.

But Pelosi and Schumer aim to pass the bill without Republican votes, if necessary, through a process called budget reconciliation. But to do that, with such narrow majorities, they cannot afford to lose any of their members' support.

With Michael Gormley

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