WNYT.com

Senator Schumer sees movement toward avoiding the "Fiscal Cliff"

Posted at: 11/21/2012 4:08 PM
Updated at: 11/21/2012 5:39 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

EAST GREENBUSH - New York Senator Chuck Schumer visited the Clinton Heights Department to thank area fire fighters for their long hours of work on Long Island during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The Senator says he's fully on board with Governor Cuomo in efforts to get massive federal help in rebuilding, but isn't willing to commit to a specific number yet.

"It's a lot of money," Schumer said. "The federal government for Katrina gave $120 billion to Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and so the same treatment that went for those areas should go to New York."

It was a big battle last year in Congress to get recovery aid for damage from Tropical Storm Irene.

Sandy is expected to carry a much higher price tag and is coming to the floor at the same time as expiring federal tax cuts, as well as automatic large spending reductions in social programs and defense unless an elusive deal can be obtained.

"You need some revenues," Schumer said. "No question and the President has stated and I think almost everyone, Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree, none of those revenues should come from people whose income is below 250-thousand dollars a year. The middle class is hurting and to raise revenues from them would not be fair. The one segment of our society that has done very well, the wealthiest people, God bless 'em, I don't begrudge it but they're the ones who can pay a little bit more."