Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is doubling down on his warning that the city will need to cut 22,000 workers on Oct. 1 unless the federal government bails it out.
The embattled mayor told reporters Wednesday that the massive number of impending layoffs is "painfully real."
"The overwhelming cost of local government is personnel. Where we put our money is into the people who provide services to New Yorkers, whether they're first responders, health care workers, sanitation workers, educators, you name it," de Blasio said, according to Politico.
"If you're going to keep cutting and keep cutting, it has to at some point reach personnel. It's just pure logic of budgets, and it's very sad logic. I don't like it one bit, and I want to avert this at all costs. So that 22,000 number is painfully real," he continued.
The mayor first voiced the warning last month and has been repeating it again and again since then.
Last week, he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he was "very worried" about the stimulus talks in Washington, D.C., and that all sorts of public services in the city were on the line "if we do not get federal support soon."
.@NYCMayor: I’m laying off 22,000 city workers if the feds don’t give us a bailout https://t.co/iWkSh4N8yJ— Tom Elliott (@Tom Elliott) 1596576862.0
The mayor has been hoping for a multibillion dollar bailout package to come in from the federal government after the city has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. But he acknowledged that such an action "appears to be dead now" as stimulus package talks stalled on Capitol Hill.
According to Politico, de Blasio also unsuccessfully petitioned for state money to pay the city's expenses. Now the mayor has ordered agencies to come up with a list of employees to be considered for budget cuts.
Though de Blasio is doing his best to lay blame for the cuts on the federal government, many have pointed to his fiscal mismanagement as being ultimately responsible.
President Trump, for his part, has signaled opposition to federal bailouts of Democratic states and cities, saying to use taxpayer money to do so would be unfair to many Americans.
"You look at Illinois, you look at New York, look at California, you know, those three, there's tremendous debt there, and many others," the president remarked in an interview with the New York Post.
"It's not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help — they're run by Democrats in every case," he also said. "Florida is doing phenomenal, Texas is doing phenomenal, the Midwest is, you know, fantastic — very little debt."