New York State Officials React To President Biden’s Speech

January 20, 2021

From Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“This is going to be a different country. It’s going to be a country that needs healing, needs direction, needs a new agenda, but Joe Biden is the right person, I believe, for this time. I have known him many, many years. He’s been a great friend to me personally and I’ve tried to be a great friend to him. Good days and bad days, he’s been a great friend to New York State. I’m also excited about the rescue plan that he’s laid out. It’s what the nation needs. By the way, it’s what the governors had been arguing for for the past year – state and local financing, which is very important. As I said in my budget yesterday, it’s now very important that New York gets its fair share of state and local financing, and we’re going to fight very hard for that, but Joe Biden, to his credit, put it in his plan, $350 billion for state and local financing.”

From The Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Tom Reed (R-NY) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ):

“Today, the Problem Solvers Caucus congratulates Joe Biden on being sworn in as our 46th President. Our nation is at a critical juncture: After a horrific assault on our Capitol, a raging pandemic, and families and small businesses hurting, millions of Americans are looking for our country to come together. These historic circumstances have left the country vulnerable and divided. Restoring faith in our democratic institutions and rebuilding our economy will require all of us — regardless of party and at every level of government — to set aside our differences, bind our wounds, and commit to doing the hard work of bipartisan lawmaking. This means standing up against political extremism and putting country ahead of party. The Problem Solvers Caucus stands ready and eager to work with President Biden on this effort. If we can commit to working across the aisle and collaborating on a genuine bipartisan agenda, the opportunities are endless. Congress is narrowly divided in both the House and Senate. Bipartisan solutions will be the only way to enact meaningful legislation and address the many challenges plaguing our country. We congratulate and look forward to working with President Biden and his team to unite the country, defeat COVID-19, and create new economic opportunities to help our country recover and grow. The American people deserve no less.”

From U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

“Today’s inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris was a demonstration of the American people’s resolve and optimism. While our nation continues to face an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, the inauguration was a moment of hope, and the start of a journey to not only recover from the pandemic, but to rebuild and strengthen our nation. To see my friend Kamala Harris, a daughter of immigrants, be sworn in as our nation’s first woman vice president and first Black and South Asian vice president, was a truly historic and unforgettable moment. President Biden will be a president for all Americans and I’m ready to work with him to lay the foundation for a brighter future.”

From Assembly Democrat Speaker Carl Heastie:

Today, the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris brings a sense of hope and relief that Americans have desperately needed, especially following nearly a year of immeasurable loss and suffering caused by this global pandemic.

We know the road ahead will be challenging, but my colleagues and I in the Assembly Majority look forward to working with our new partners in government to restore our position, both as a state and nation, as a global economic leader and a bastion of progressive values.

This pandemic and subsequent economic recession has devastated New York. As I have said before, we will do our part to raise much needed revenue, but we simply cannot do it alone. We are heartened by the fact that this new administration is proposing direct aid to states and local governments, and plans to move swiftly to issue critical executive orders to correct four years of destructive and regressive policies.

In 2019, my colleagues and I passed historic housing protections for New Yorkers, and we have continued to fight for eviction protections during this economic recession. I am confident that this administration will work to ensure Americans who are struggling to make ends meet during this challenging time will get the help they need. My colleagues and I look forward to New Yorkers and all Americans getting the eviction protections they so desperately need to remain in their homes, as well as relief from student loan interest accrual and payments.

The Assembly Majority strongly believes that hardworking immigrant families deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. In 2019, we passed the José Peralta New York State DREAM Act to ensure that our Dreamers have access to higher education so that they are able to fully participate in the state’s economy. We are pleased to learn that President Biden will propose legislation that would give millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States a pathway to citizenship and will allow current recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as Dreamers, to apply for permanent legal residency immediately.

My colleagues and I were shocked and appalled by the cruel and senseless policies that tore families apart at our border, and we are hopeful that this new administration will work to reunite these families. We also look forward to seeing an end to the xenophobic travel policies that have ostracized, targeted and hurt our immigrant friends and neighbors.

For years, the Assembly Majority has listened to scientists and fought to protect our precious natural resources and mitigate the effects of climate change. We are eager to see our nation reenter the Paris climate accord and protect our planet for generations to come.

Here in the People’s House we remain committed to putting New York families first, and we look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to support that goal.