In the latest headache for embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), his own lawmakers have begun turning against him and repealing his executive orders, according to Politico.
On Wednesday, the New York State Senate and State Assembly voted to repeal one of the orders that Cuomo had signed during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic last year. The order included the bizarre mandate that restaurants and bars must sell food in order to be allowed to sell alcohol, which had led to widespread criticism of Cuomo from business owners across the state.
The repeal is expected to be the first of many that will soon pass through the legislature, another indication of Cuomo’s plummeting popularity. The governor currently faces two major scandals that are both under investigation, with one being his administration’s deliberate coverup of the true number of deaths in New York nursing homes due to the coronavirus, and the other being nearly a dozen women who have accused the governor of sexual misconduct.
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-N.Y.) declared from the floor of the State Senate that “we are asserting ourselves as a Legislature as we promised we would do. And these repeals are just the beginning.”
Even top Democrats are now arguing that Cuomo’s actions “are no longer applicable or necessary.” State Senator John Liu (D-N.Y.) said that New York state law “should never have been subverted by gubernatorial executive order.”
The measure also found broad support among state Republicans, although some criticized the Democrats for being slow to act in repealing Cuomo’s orders. State Senator George Borrello (R-N.Y.) remarked that “here we are, 54 days after we were told the governor’s powers were rescinded. I’m happy to be here, but I’m sad that it took us this long to put aside the politics, to do what was right for the people of New York State.”
Despite the ongoing scandals and multiple investigations, from Attorney General Letitia James (D-N.Y.) to an impeachment inquiry in the State Assembly, Cuomo has insisted that he will never resign. This has led to speculation that, unless he is removed from office via impeachment, he could face primary challengers in next year’s gubernatorial election, where he is seeking a fourth consecutive term.