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Cuomo, Bloomberg, State Lawmakers Strategize Multi-Billion-Dollar Federal Sandy Aid Request

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Members of New York's Congressional delegation met at the Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office Monday to work out a coordinated strategy for seeking a hurricane relief package. NY1's Zack Fink has the story.

Cuomo said the total anticipated cost would "incapacitate" New York taxpayers, making federal help a necessity.

"It was a good conversation with the delegation," Cuomo said at a press conference. "I understand the fiscal pressures that Washington is under. I understand the political pressure that they're under. I also understand the fiscal pressure that New York is under. And I know that the taxpayers of New York cannot shoulder this burden."

The state is seeking roughly $32 billion from the federal government. That's revised from the original $30 billion estimate.

In addition, New York will seek another $9 billion for mitigation and prevention, making the total package roughly $42 billion.

"I'm sure there will be different factions in our party, may be some in the other, who will try to resist that," Republican Rep. Peter King said. "But we have to stand together, and certainly the speaker of the house has told us that he is going to work with New York to get the money that it needs."

"We are going to study all the details and we are going to fight as hard as we can to get everything New York needs," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "And we've agreed to do it on a bi-partisan basis and we've agreed to do it in unity with the other states."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also attended Cuomo's meeting, but Cuomo held a press conference in the afternoon, conflicting with the mayor's previously scheduled availability.

Cuomo said he'll go to Washington to lobby for aid if necessary. But Bloomberg announced he's already plans to go down to the nation's capital on Wednesday.

On whether he thought New York would receive what it's asking for, Bloomberg was positive.

"I'm always optimistic," Bloomberg said. "I always believe that we are going to win. I still think we are going to get that stadium on the West Side. I still think we are going to get the 2012 Olympics. I'm always an optimist."

Members of New York's Congressional delegation said they have been meeting with their counterparts in New Jersey.

Cuomo said an overall aid package to the region, including New Jersey, could be around $62 billion.

Connecticut's portion is not yet known, but is likely to be much smaller.

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