Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) on Tuesday offered an amendment to the burgeoning Senate infrastructure bill that would block funding to any state—such as Democrat Andrew Cuomo's New York—where a governor has sexually harassed employees.
The amendment would "prohibit 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." Following the conclusion of an investigation this morning, New York attorney general Letitia James (D.) announced Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women during his time as governor, in violation of state and federal laws. If it passes, the so-called Cuomo amendment would bar the state of New York from receiving funds from the $1 trillion bill.
"A sitting governor who harasses and abuses women on his own staff and members of law enforcement must be held accountable, and shouldn’t be getting a dime of Iowa taxpayer money," said Ernst, who is a survivor of sexual assault herself. "Here’s a good place to start."
President Joe Biden called on Cuomo to resign following the results of the investigation. So did three New York Democratic representatives: Tom Suozzi, Gregory Meeks, and Hakeem Jeffries.
In a pre-recorded video, Cuomo denied wrongdoing, saying "the facts are much different from what has been portrayed" and that his accusers "discredit the legitimate sexual harassment victims."