New York City Mayor Eric Adams isn’t expecting any gifts from Washington D.C. this holiday season. A day after making his tenth trip to the nation’s capital to advocate for help from the federal government in managing the influx of tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to New York City, Adams struck a decidedly pessimistic tone about the possibility of federal assistance. “We did not walk out from D.C. with any level of optimism that anything is going to drastically change,” he said today at an unrelated press conference. “It is clear that for the time being, this crisis is going to be carried by the cities.”
Instead, Adams said, his administration walked away with the “cold reality that help is not on the way in the immediate future.” That assessment is not all that different from Adams’ frequent refrain that “the cavalry isn’t coming,” but it is a little striking to hear so soon after yesterday’s visit. In a short media gaggle yesterday, Adams called meetings with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries “great,” and described a meeting with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell as showing a “real sense of collaboration.” Later in the afternoon, Adams also met with White House officials, including Tom Perez, director of intergovernmental affairs.
Adams’ D.C. visit comes at a particularly challenging time. His 2021 campaign is under federal investigation – though he hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing – his administration is pursuing multiple rounds of unpopular budget cuts, and his approval ratings are plummeting. This week, they reached an historic low in a Quinnipiac poll.
In his remarks today and yesterday, Adams referenced “polls” before taking the federal government to task for a lack of action on the migrant crisis. The administration has said that budget cuts are necessary in large part because of spending on migrants. “We are at an untenable situation right now, and it is painful for us, it is painful for the city,” Adams said today. “I think you see it being reflected in the polls. It is because our federal government’s actions have taken a toll on the people of this city.”
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