New York City may have to lay off or furlough front-line workers if it does not receive a multi-billion dollar federal bailout, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
“Right now what I’m staring down the barrel of — and cities and states all over the country — people are either acting on furloughs and layoffs or preparing for furloughs and layoffs of the exact people who have been the heroes in this crisis, who we should be celebrating and supporting: the first responders, the health care workers, the educators,” de Blasio said during an interview on CNN.
“How are we going to support these people who we need if we don’t have any money? I’ve lost $7.4 billion already and my economy can’t come back until I get that stimulus,” he added.
President Donald Trump has said he is reluctant to bail out states hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic that are run by Democrats, leading de Blasio to blast him as a “hypocrite” who “seems to enjoy stabbing his home town in the back.”
The mayor’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year does not currently include layoffs, and the mayor declined to provide details on how many jobs might be cut.
“Every one of us [mayors] has to start looking at that possibility if we don’t have any money,” de Blasio told reporters at a press briefing later on Wednesday. “I’m not here to project anything while we’re in the middle of fighting for the stimulus funding, because that’s what would get us out of this mess.”
“That [federal aid] allows us to retain our full workforce, ensure that public services are being provided, basic services so we can get on with a restart and recovery,” he added. “We need to get that stimulus done so that people don’t have to experience furloughs and layoffs. If it doesn’t happen, and we’re missing $7.4 billion in revenue, then all options are on the table. But it’s not time to talk about specifics.”