MTA to get $3.9B in coronavirus aid, Cuomo says Trump 'cut red tape' to send NY expedited funding

Trump warns NY to 'spend it wisely!'

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President Trump announced on Twitter he was allocating $3.9 billion in CARES Act funding to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and had already sent the agency $500 million of the novel coronavirus-related relief on Thursday.

“I am proud to announce the first $500M of $3.9B in CARES Act transit funding headed to the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority," he said in a tweet, tagging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Important funding to keep transit systems clean and operating to get people back to work! Spend it wisely!”

The MTA, a state authority, oversees New York City’s train, bus and subway systems.

Cuomo, a Democrat, said during a Thursday afternoon press conference he had spoken to Trump earlier in the day about state's "funding issues."

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"He heard me out," Cuomo told reporters. "I've also asked him to expedite certain payments and he's expediting a $3.9 billion payment to MTA... which desperately needs funding because the ridership is way down. And the president cut red tape and actually sent the first installment today, so I'm grateful for that and I thank him."

The governor announced at the end of April subways, which had been running on a reduced schedule since late March, are going to be stopped from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day. It was the first time in a century that regular service wasn't running around the clock.

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Cuomo previously told Howard Stern that he and the commander-in-chief spoke several times a week as the Empire State, a COVID-19 hot spot, grapples with the pandemic.

Vice President Mike Pence, right, and President Donald Trump watch New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, on April 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Cuomo acknowledged during the April 13 interview they had a tumultuous relationship, admitting: “We’re both New Yorkers, we speak our minds.”

But just days later, the pair sparred over Cuomo’s belief that the federal government was not providing the funding necessary to properly combat the pandemic.

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“Is there any funding so I can do these things you wanted us to do? No. That is passing the buck without passing the bucks," Cuomo said during an April 17 press conference.

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Trump later tweeted that Cuomo should “spend more time 'doing' and less time 'complaining'. Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking!”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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