Schumer As Senate Majority Leader Could Mean Needed Funding For New York, But Experts Urge Caution

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)Chuck Schumer‘s expected elevation to Senate Majority Leader has enormous implications for New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio already have their hands out, hoping for billions of dollars from the federal government, which for the last four years has been pretty stingy.

From Brooklyn to Buffalo, state residents are asking of Schumer be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and, presto-chango, deliver money for the Big Apple and the Empire State.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

“It’s very unlikely given the narrow divide in the Senate that we’re going to be able to see significant state level relief. That’s something that the Republicans have opposed hook, line and sinker,” Baruch College professor David Birdsell said.

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Yes, the 50-50 Senate split will prove to be an obstacle, but Birdsell admits that someone with Schumer’s finesse will be able to thread the needle and come up with broad-stroke programs like education and infrastructure that will just happen to have money to help New York.

Schumer told CBS2 he’s up to the task.

“New York needs lots of help and while nothing is ever easy in Washington, it’s going to be a lot easier to deliver aid for New York when I am the majority leader,” he said. “We’re going to fight hard for state and local aid, and we’re going to fight very hard for the $2,000 checks and many other things.”

Cuomo is absolutely salivating about Schumer taking over, hoping for a new day in terms of federal aid.

“Washington has abused New York state for four years. They’ve used New York as a political piñata,” Cuomo said.

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Experts told Kramer it would be wise for both the governor and mayor not to pin their hopes on the feds to close massive budget gaps.

Kramer asked Mayor de Blasio if anticipated federal aid will stop him from having to make painful budget cuts.

“We are absolutely going to have to take tough budget actions under any scenario. The magnitude of the problem, Marcia, is beyond the reach of any one leader,” de Blasio said.

And even though Schumer is going to be the top dog in the Senate, he doesn’t plan to forget about New York.

Aides told Kramer he’ll still do his regular Sunday press conferences and make sure he gets to every one of New York’s 62 counties every year.

CBS2’s Marcia Kramer contributed to this report

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