Things just got a whole lot worse for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) as 59 Democratic lawmakers in his state penned an open letter on Thursday demanding that he resign because of his altering of data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths and the six allegations of sexual misconduct that have been made against him.
The Democrats wrote that Cuomo “has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need.”
“We have a Lieutenant Governor who can step in and lead for the remainder of the term, and this is what is best for New Yorkers in this critical time,” they added. “It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”
1/3) NEW: A combined 59 members of @NYSenDems and @NYSA_Majority are now calling on @NYGovCuomo to resign, saying in a new letter “he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature.” With 40 signatories in the Assembly, that number now surpasses a… pic.twitter.com/6HoGxZUHF9
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) March 11, 2021
Forty of the Democrats who signed the letter are members of the New York state assembly, which has the authority to impeach Cuomo. If they end up calling for Cuomo’s impeachment, they would be just five votes short of the 76 that they need to impeach, since 31 Republicans have already voiced their support for impeachment, according to The Daily Caller.
If Cuomo is impeached, he would be stripped of his powers immediately, and Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul would become acting governor. He would only be able to regain his authority over the state of the state senate voted to acquit.
Republican Assembly Member Kieran Michael Lalor said that while the letter was “definitely a step towards impeachment,” a couple more things need to happen before these proceedings can begin.
“If you’re a member of the assembly, you’re one of the only 150 people in the world who have the actual mechanism to remove the governor,” Lalor explained. “He’s not going to resign. Unless you’re also calling for impeachment, it’s kind of disingenuous.”
Cuomo has stubbornly refused to resign despite many calls for him to do so.
“It’s the threat of impeachment that gets governors to step down,” Lalor continued. “Calling for resignation doesn’t get governors to step down. All of my colleagues who are saying resign, they should really be saying impeach, and I hope that they will realize that.”
“We’re talking about the deaths of 15,000 vulnerable New Yorkers,” he added, referring to Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes. “What could be more important than that? What are we doing in the assembly today, yesterday, tomorrow, next week, that’s as important as bringing justice to the 15,000 people who died and their families?”
Lalor went on to say that proceedings to impeach Cuomo can’t begin until State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie allows a vote on the matter. He’s not expecting Heastie to say anything about this until he’s finished negotiating the state’s budget bill, which is expected to be concluded at the end of this month.
“He’s negotiating a budget with a very weak and desperate governor,” Lalor said. “He doesn’t want Cuomo to know, because he’s going to get everything he wants in this budget.”
“If the speaker came out for impeachment, he’d have 76 votes within minutes. That’s a great piece of leverage that the speaker has,” he continued. “He’s choosing to use that leverage to get his budget priorities rather than using that leverage to check the chief executive, bring justice to the sexual harassment victims, the 15,000 nursing home victims and their families.”