Sen. Ernst targets Cuomo in amendment to infrastructure bill

Sen. Ernst targets Cuomo in amendment to infrastructure bill

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) targeted embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in an amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure bill which would prevent its funding from being allocated to states that are led by an individual that has sexually harassed their subordinates. 

The decision to file the amendment comes in the wake of a bombshell 165-page report released by state Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday confirming the New York Democrat harassed 11 women and retaliated against a former employee for speaking out. 

“It’s one way he can be held accountable because obviously nobody’s stepping up and holding him accountable,” Ernst, a survivor of sexual assault, said of the amendment. “This is one way we can do it.”

The amendment bars “funding to go to any state in which the governor of such state has been found, by the relevant state or federal authorities, to have sexually harassed employees while holding the position of governor.”

It remains unclear whether the amendment will be brought to the floor for a vote. 

Cuomo has faced bipartisan calls to step down in the wake of the AG report, including President Joe Biden and the entire New York congressional delegation. 

Andrew Cuomo
The proposed amendment to the infrastructure bill would prevent states led by a governor found to have sexually harassed subordinates from receiving funding.
James Messerschmidt

The AG report found that Cuomo, 63, violated federal and state laws, having engaged in “unwanted groping, kissing, hugging and making inappropriate comments.” 

One allegation included a subordinate accusing the New York governor of reaching under her blouse and groping her.

Despite the investigation’s findings, Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing, releasing a video on Tuesday citing a “generational and cultural” disconnect for his behavior.  

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