Coronavirus News: Cuomo's 'Americans First Law' to be introduced by NY Congressional delegation

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thanked members of the New York Congressional delegation on Wednesday who he said would introduce legislation he's pitching to connect any corporate bailouts to retention of pre-COVID-19 workforce levels.

Cuomo is calling his idea the "Americans First Law," which would require companies to hire back all workers they laid off during the coronavirus crisis if they want bailout money from the government.

Cuomo announced that these members of the House of Representatives would introduce the legislation: Representative Nydia Velázquez, Representative Thomas Suozzi, Representative Carolyn Maloney, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Representative Gregory Meeks, Representative Grace Meng, Representative Eliot Engel, Representative Paul Tonko, Representative José Serrano, Representative Joe Morelle, Representative Adriano Espaillat and Representative Yvette Clarke.

On Tuesday, Cuomo said corporations have already forecasted the next scam.

"The new scam is these corporations will use this pandemic to lay off workers," he said.

The governor said that some corporations rehire fewer workers to increase their stock value.

He suggested his colleagues in Washington, D.C. consider the proposed law, because he fears companies will get bailed out and employees will end up out of jobs.

Once bailed out, Cuomo claims that companies will not rehire the same number of employees in order to "boost their corporate profits."

"We're not going to subsidize you to lay off workers," the governor said. "If you can lay off workers, and you're saving money by laying off workers, then you don't need the American taxpayer to subsidize you."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled Tuesday a $3 trillion new coronavirus aid package the House is expected to take up Friday for a vote.

She has encouraged Congress to "go big" with the next virus aid package to help cash-strapped states.

The HEROES Act provides nearly $1 trillion for states, cities and tribal governments to avert layoffs and another $200 billion in "hazard pay" for essential workers, according to a summary. It will offer $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, up to $6,000 per household. There is $75 billion more for virus testing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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