A coalition of Republicans from New York are pushing the top GOP lawmaker in the U.S. Senate for a $3.9 billion relief package for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
"New York has been the epicenter of this crisis in the United States," the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell states. "The essential workers on the frontlines who have rightly received so much praise and appreciation depend on mass transit to get to their critical jobs. Healthcare providers, pharmacists, first responders and grocery store workers cannot be left stranded at the time when they’re needed most."
The Republicans backing the push for the money in the next relief package represent New York at multiple levels of government and include allies of President Donald Trump, like New York City Councilman Joe Borelli and Rep. Elise Stefanik.
Also signing on to the letter to McConnell on the GOP leaders in the state Legislature, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay and Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan.
The MTA previously received a $4 billion bailout in the previous CARES Act stimulus package. But more is needed to aid the transit authority through 2020 as ridership ground to a virtual halt due to the economic shutdown.
New York City began the first phase of the reopening this month.
"As this pandemic subsides, the need for a robust transportation network will only be greater," the letter states. "The MTA has always been the economic lifeblood of the New York metropolitan region. The system connects more than 15 million residents across New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut with employment and educational opportunities that help drive the downstate economy, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of the national GDP. It would stunt both the New York and national post-pandemic recovery to let the agency flounder."