Senate Republicans have introduced a “Cuomo amendment” to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which would keep funds from states “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.”
The amendment was proposed by Sen. Joni Ernst and would specifically withhold infrastructure money from New York while Andrew Cuomo remains governor.
Ernst is a sexual assault and domestic violence survivor who has said she was sexually harassed during her time in the military.
“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,” the Iowa Republican tweeted.
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. Here’s a good place to start. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/V8OumP4lwH
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) August 4, 2021
The amendment will need support from all 100 senators in order to get a vote, NBC News reported.
It is unlikely to receive the support or make it to the floor of the Senate, which is run by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.
New York state Attorney General Letitia James’ office released a long-awaited report Tuesday on an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations directed at Cuomo, who is in his third term as New York’s governor.
“Upon completion of our independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment brought against Governor Andrew Cuomo and the surrounding circumstances, we have reached the conclusion that the Governor sexually harassed a number of State employees,” the report said.
Cuomo, according to the findings by James’ office, engaged in “unwelcome and unwanted touching,” and “making numerous offensive and sexually suggestive comments.”
Such behavior by the governor “was part of a pattern of behavior that extended to his interactions with others outside of State government,” according to the report.
Cuomo has denied the allegations and indicated after the report’s release that he had no plans to step down, saying the “facts are much different from what has been portrayed.”
The Senate is in the middle of negotiating amendments to the infrastructure legislation that would invest $555 billion in new spending in the country’s roads and highways, public transit, water systems and broadband, according to NBC News.
Majority Leader Schumer has said the Senate will stay in session and cut into the August recess until the bill is passed.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Senate Democrats not to try to “speed up the process.”
“There’s an excellent chance that it will be a bipartisan success story for the country. And to try to truncate an amendment process on something of this magnitude, I think, is a mistake,” McConnell said.
“So my best advice to the majority leader would be that slow but steady wins the race.”