The governors of all 50 states were invited to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Feb. 27, but Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York was one of the few who skipped out.
The leaders of 44 states and five territories showed up to the National Governors Association's winter meeting in Washington, D.C., reports The New York Post.
According to his staffers, Cuomo was too busy with day-to-day work to meet with the president.
"The governor was in New York yesterday meeting with local officials and announcing accelerated schedules for two regionally significant infrastructure projects," said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi, who also pointed out that Cuomo did not attend similar events hosted by former President Barack Obama, notes The New York Post.
The news was not universally well-received, however.
"In typical Cuomo fashion, the gov is concerned about optics and politics, rather than the brass tacks of the state’s business," Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli said. "Really, governor, you had nothing to say to the president?"
Amid rumors that he is considering a 2020 presidential bid, Cuomo reportedly visited Washington on Feb. 24 for a short governors' reception before quickly exiting after not making an appearance at the winter meeting for the last six years, notes Politico.
At the Feb. 27 national meeting, Trump told the governors in a speech that his administration would work with the states to try and streamline federal infrastructure concerns and would eliminate many of the environmental regulations that keep project proposals under review for years, according to a transcript provided by the White House's official website.
"Thank you very much all for being at the White House," Trump said at the conclusion of his address to the state leaders. "We'll do this many times. I want the opinions of the governors of the states of the United States."
Trump also spoke about his plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which he said that he would have to do before introducing a "major" and "wonderful" tax cut for budget purposes.
"Now, I have to tell you, [health care is] an unbelievably complex subject," he said. "Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated ... Tax cutting has never been that easy, but it's a tiny, little ant compared to what we're talking about with Obamacare."
Trump also said that 2017 would be a "disaster" for Obamacare if the Republicans step back and "let it implode," which he said would not be "the fair thing to do for the people."
Sources: New York Post, The White House, Politico / Photo Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York / Flickr