The governor and state labor department officials are scrambling to determine whether they can execute President Donald Trump’s executive order to partially expand the federalMillions of unemployed Americans.
Trump’s order allocated $44 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief fund to increase unemployment assistance for the unemployed, and called on states to invest about $15 billion. The Trump administration has stated that states can withdraw funds from federal coronavirus relief funds allocated at the beginning of the crisis, although some states have allocated this money completely to other needs.
The White House action further expandedHelp alleviate the disastrous economic impact of the pandemic on Americans. Congress approved a weekly payment of $600 at the beginning of the outbreak, but these benefits expired on August 1
Many Republicans expressed concern that in addition to existing state benefits, the $600 weekly benefit would encourage people to lose their jobs. The White House described the $400 level as an appropriate compromise. On Monday, senior government officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, urged state governors on a private conference call to urge Democratic lawmakers to reach an agreement.
But Democrats have viewed Trump’s executive order as an empty political gesture (not to mention legally problematic), which could eventually deprive millions of Americans of much-needed assistance. Several governors said that even with the relief previously approved by Congress, their state simply cannot afford a quarter of the cost.
Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) said Monday that the cost will cost California $700 million a week. The state has allocated 75% of the funds from the earlier package of Congress.
Newsom said: “There is no money in the piggy bank.” “It doesn’t exist at all.”
When Democrats complained that Trump’s executive order was not feasible, senior administration officials argued that he was taking action, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were on the sidelines. . -Even if the President did not play any active role in the negotiations.
After Nebraska Republicans called Trump’s use of executive orders “unconstitutional,” Mr. Trump also mocked Senator Ben Sass on Twitter on Monday, calling him “RINO” (RINO)- Only the names of Republicans.
At the same time, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany asserted that these orders were “fully within the president’s administrative capacity” and pointed to the decree that she expressed support for the legal basis for reallocation of funds in emergency situations.
Some state officials, including Democrats and Republicans, said that due to technical reasons, Trump’s orders may be difficult to implement. Unemployment experts say that countries will need to establish new welfare management systems, which may take a lot of time to get up and running.
As suggested, some states may not have the funds to provide 25% benefits. In this way, the aid can be reduced to $300 per week, which is half of the additional weekly payments received through the CARES Act until the end of July.
In Virginia, Secretary of the Treasury Aubrey Layne (Aubrey Layne) said that the timing of allocating funds may be an issue. He pointed out that due to hurricanes, FEMA usually takes several months to repay emergency expenses, but has already repaid the expenses related to personal protective equipment within a few weeks.
Said Andrew Stetner, a senior researcher at the Century Foundation and an expert on unemployment assistanceIn view of the difficulties of states in updating their unemployment systems, unemployment claimants have seen increased benefits.
He said: “No one will get paid in August. If they are lucky, they will get paid in September.”
Steiner added that the Trump administration’s $44 billion set aside for the latest unemployment assistance will be used up in five to six weeks.
The State Unemployment Agency experienced tens of millions of failed applications this spring and summer, and struggled in many cases. In most cases, it would take weeks to approve this additional $600 payment for the first time. Implement.
Keep a clear head
For many unemployed Americans, the greater benefit is that, unlike any other, they remain financially clear-headed.
“If I didn’t [the $600]”I may not be able to do this in the past two months,” said Rosa Howell-Thornhill, a 62-year-old freelance audio technician from South Orange, New Jersey, who found that job opportunities have dried up.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine spokesperson Dan Tierney said that in Ohio, this benefit may not take effect for several weeks because officials are sorting out the U.S. Department of Labor’s implementation. Guidance of the guide. Tierney said the state’s unemployment compensation computer system may require software changes.
Many states also question whether they can afford the extra $100 a week in the face of sharply reduced tax revenues.
McEnany told reporters that the law requires that 25% of unemployment benefits be provided by the states. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin (Steve Mnuchin) reiterated the 25% requirement in a conference call with the governor in the White House on Monday, but also tried to assure the governor that the Trump administration will find a way to compensate for the future of the states. Legislation allocates funds for unemployment.
Mnuchin said: “We are aware that some of you want to use these funds for other purposes.” “As part of the legislation, if you do use these funds for the user interface, we will agree to make you complete. “
Use FEMA funds
In North Carolina, officials questioned whether it is reasonable to use FEMA funds to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes when forecasters predict a busy hurricane season.
Dory MacMillan, the press secretary of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, said: “States should not be forced to choose which victims to help.”
The Democratic governor said that Mr. Trump is trying to bypass the arduous negotiation work, and the presidential candidate praised Trump as a natural skill for his real estate career.
Maine Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, said that these orders “appear to provide unemployed Americans with real relief for the spirit of the partisan game, making Maine families a pawn for cruel political games.”
In Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp praised Trump’s actions in the impasse in Congress. But Trump’s ally Kemp did not disclose the details of whether Georgia will provide state funding for the $400 weekly unemployment benefit.
Kemp said: “We are studying this issue.” Kemp said that his office is negotiating with the Georgia Department of Labor and the Office of Budget Planning.
At the time of the debate on unemployment assistance in Washington, there are fears that the pandemic may hurt the economy next year. IHS Markit on Tuesday lowered its forecast for economic growth in 2021 from 3.7% to 3.1%, citing a surge in coronavirus cases in many states.
Economists warned that if Congress fails to pass another round of fiscal stimulus measures, including increased unemployment assistance, economic growth will slow further.
IHS Markit Chief U.S. Economist Joel Prakken stated in the report: “When income support expires, recovery will occur again in early 2021.” “However, we think the vaccine will be in the middle of next year. Widely used, so that a more basic restoration is ultimately maintained.”