Despite Tough Albany Deal, de Blasio Declines to Hit Back

NEW YORK (AP) -

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday he’ll have plenty to say in the coming days about what many perceive as a bad deal for New York City in the Legislature, but for now he’s pinning his hopes on some 11th-hour changes to the agreement being hammered out in Albany.

The framework was widely viewed as a stinging rebuke to de Blasio. It did not include long-term mayoral control of the city school system nor the mayor’s hopes to overhaul state laws  crucial to his affordable housing plan.

The deal announced Tuesday is the latest setback handed to de Blasio by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the mayor’s aides strongly suggested the mayor would come out swinging.

Instead, he punted.

“I’ll have plenty to say about that when the session is over,” the mayor said. “And it does not make sense to speak to the final resolution until we see the final resolution.”

He uttered variations of that stance several times, insisting that he would wait until lawmakers actually vote on the deal before speaking out.

Outside of one instance last month in which de Blasio hit back after Cuomo criticized the mayor’s housing plan, de Blasio has steadfastly refused to attack his friend of 20 years who has frequently meddled with his agenda. Mayoral aides said Wednesday they realized that they risked looking like they were again afraid to challenge Cuomo, but said a decision was made to forgo a confrontation — for now — while hoping the deal could improve.

On Wednesday, a belief was taking hold in Albany that some of the legislation could change slightly. The mayor’s legislative emissary, Emma Wolfe, remained in the state Capitol lobbying members, and de Blasio himself was working the phones to twist arms late Wednesday, aides said.