State Republicans Display Opposition To Several Cuomo Policies
Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing the wrath of Republicans, who are still smarting over a gun control law that was voted on quickly last month using emergency powers, as well as other Cuomo policies. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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Republicans not only allowed a vote on gun control in the state Senate last month, many of them voted for it in the end. But that hasn't quelled their opposition.
On Tuesday, Republicans blasted the use of an emergency declaration that forced an immediate vote on the gun bill. One lawmaker even likened those tactics to Adolf Hitler, although he later apologized.
Republicans also held a press conference this week to denounce the renewal of an energy surcharge in the governor's budget. And during a hearing Monday, Senate Republicans attacked Jenny Rivera, Cuomo's judicial nominee for the Court of Appeals. Sources say the Cuomo administration was caught completely off guard by their opposition.
Some speculate that Republicans are trying to flex what little muscle they have left following the gun vote, which enraged their supporters. Cuomo disagrees.
"This year, probably, has been remarkable for the lack of differentiation and the lack of argumentation," he said. "So I see it the exact opposite way. I think of the three legislative cycles, this has been the least controversial."
Now that the gun bill is safely behind him, Cuomo can move on to the other items on his agenda. He has already said that he'll push hard for an increase in the minimum wage, and as of now, the governor says he is committed to a bill codifying abortion rights in New York State."
Cuomo has outlined a 10-point women's equality agenda, which includes the Reproductive Health Act. Republicans object, arguing it strengthens abortion rights.
"There are very, very strong opinions, as you know, on the issue of choice," Cuomo said. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, everyone is entitled to their vote, and we'll see how it goes. I'm going to be advocating for my position."
Advocates say Cuomo should make the women's equality act a single bill. That way, Republicans would have to vote for the whole package.
"I think putting it out there as one full agenda is absolutely the best way to go in terms of recognizing, again, this isn't a single issue," said Andrea Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice.
As of now, Republican votes would be needed to pass the Reproductive Health Act.