Gov. Cuomo cancels Puerto Rico trip amid government shutdown

Gov. Andrew Cuomo cancelled a planned trip to Puerto Rico to hand out Christmas presents, saying in a radio interview Saturday the federal government’s partial shutdown has “complicated” things enough for him to stay in New York.

“I was looking forward to going myself tomorrow just to send the best wishes of New Yorkers but with this federal shutdown, there are some complications, so I’m going to stay in the state,” Cuomo said in the interview with 1010 WINS. “My job as the Governor is to make sure the state is running well. It is complicated with the federal shutdown. So I’ll stay here but the toys will still go to Puerto Rico and I think the toys, frankly, were more important than me.”

Cuomo also announced Saturday the state would pay to keep Ellis Island and Liberty Island open for the duration of the shutdown at a cost of $65,000 a day.

Cuomo plans to hold a ceremony at Ellis Island for his third term inauguration on Jan. 1.

“Symbolically, while we’re watching government at its worst in Washington, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of America at her best,” Cuomo told 1010. “So, keeping the torch lit I think is a perfect metaphor while this situation is devolving in Washington.”

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