Gov. Kathy Hochul excluded GOP from infrastructure talks.

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Gov. Kathy Hochul excluded GOP from infrastructure talks.

A New York congressman — who was one of 13 House GOP members that stuck their necks out politically and voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill — wants Gov. Kathy Hochul to explain why she excluded him and other Empire State Republicans from a DC meeting to decide how the money will be spent.

In a letter sent to the governor on Thursday, Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) called it “baffling” that she would exclude GOP members, arguing that Hochul is prioritizing the needs of Democratic districts over New Yorkers as a whole.

“I write to express my bewilderment that you chose to exclude the Republican members of the New York congressional delegation in a meeting about implementation about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill,” Garbarino wrote.

“It is baffling to me that you would choose to ignore the needs of my district-and theirs in soliciting input for how this money should be spent.” 

Gov. Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul had promised that representatives would have “major input” into how the infrastructure funds got spent.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Garbarino pointed to a Newsday article where Hochul asserted she would work with congress members to ensure funding would be spent properly to address the needs of their districts, adding that by only seeking to have discussions with members of her own party she is politicizing a law that New York Republican members played a key role in getting over the finish line. 

“According to Newsday, you said, ‘I told these members of Congress, unlike the past … the Governor of New York does not have to dictate how to spend the money that they worked hard to bring to the state … they should have a major say in their priorities, and that’s what I plan to do, work with them in partnership,’” he continued. 

Highway
Rep. Andrew Garbarino says that by excluding the GOP Governor Hochul is “prioritizing” districts represented by democrats.
EPA

“Your comments indicate you are fully aware that each member of the delegation has their own priorities concerning implementation of this law. You should not only be concerned about Democrat districts.

“This flies in the face of the bipartisan nature of this law, and the critical needs of my district in implementing it. The people of the 2nd Congressional District deserve and demand a seat at the table.” 

The freshman congressman said he has been working with local lawmakers to discuss what infrastructure matters are most pressing following the bill’s passage last month, calling on Hochul to make an effort to work with him to help address his constituents’ needs.  

Rep. Andrew Garbarino says he finds Governor Kathy Hochul’s actions “baffling.” He was one of only 13 republican representatives to vote for the infrastructure bill.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

“I sincerely hope that you will listen to the needs of Long Islanders in my district—including, but not limited to, the Oakdale merge and sewer funding. My staff and I have been working with local lawmakers to compile a list of my district’s critical infrastructure needs,” he wrote. 

“I sincerely hope that you will be working with me in the future to deliver this much needed funding to Long Island. Your comments above also refer to the past in discussing former Governor Cuomo’s relationship with the delegation.”

Garbarino noted that Republican members represent roughly 6 million people, adding that he believes that her decision not to work across the aisle mirrors the tactics of disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). 

“Your move to deliberately exclude the delegation’s Republican members is precisely the divisive, partisan move that the disgraced former Governor would have pulled,” he concluded.  

“If you are sincere in wanting to make for a collaborative dynamic between the delegation and your office, then I would hope that your future meetings with the New York congressional delegation would include all members, including the state’s 8 Republicans and 6 million constituents they represent.”

Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul promised a break with the style of former Governor Andrew Cuomo but Rep. Andrew Garbarino says. she is mirroring his tactics by excluding republicans.
Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge

Hochul’s office did not immediately return a call for comment.

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