Lawmakers aim to strip governor of powers, office

Around New York State

(WIVB)– With word that federal prosecutors are looking into what’s happening in Albany, federal lawmakers are weighing in.

The pushback against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the pandemic is gaining support from both sides of the Empire State’s political aisle.

On Thursday, state democratic leaders closed ranks, saying they’re moving to strip the governor of his emergency powers as soon as next week, when they reconvene for the winter session.

The legislature has also detailed plans for creating a special commission that would oversee any future pandemic-related directives issued by the governor.

Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins on Thursday said, “The public deserves to have checks and balances. Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected.”

Also Thursday, Republican Congressman Tom Reed said the DOJ’s inquiry should lead to criminal charges against Cuomo and his chief aide, Melissa DeRosa.

“When this DOJ investigation was going forward, there was manipulation of data, there was obstruction of justice, and there was outright perjury to the justice officials that warrants a direct arrest of not only DeRosa, but also Gov. Cuomo who directed this activity.”

Rep. Tom Reed (R)- Corning

Congressman Brian Higgins is also aware of the DOJ investigation, and he says he supports those efforts.

He said earlier this month during a congressional hearing the federal government shares some of the blame.

“This issue needs to be investigated, as well as the failed federal response to COVID-19.”

“These nursing home deaths, be they in New York, Ohio, Colorado or any other state, is a consequence of that failed federal response.”

Rep. Brian Higgins (D)- Buffalo

Dave Greber is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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