Last Saturday, the United States President Donald Trump made an unequivocal pronouncement. He said that unemployed individuals would see $400 per week in benefits. So, the White House officials already amended it. The result is that millions of unemployed Americans can only see $300 in enhanced weekly unemployment benefits. Thus, it is a fifty percent reduction from the $600 weekly federal bonus that was disbursed until the end of July.
The United States President Donald Trump issued the unemployment assistance memorandum. So, memorandum called for the federal government to cover seventy-five percent of a new $400 weekly benefit and for states to use money from their CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund) or other programs to cover the rest. The Washington Post wrote that many states interpreted they will have to provide an additional $100 per week for their residents to qualify for the benefit.
Also, the United States President Donald Trump’s verbatim comments aligned with this. On Saturday, during a news conference from his golf club in New Jersey, Bedminster, he remarked that he is acting for providing an extra or an additional $400 per week in expanded benefits. Moreover, he added that it is generous. Nevertheless, they want to take care of their people. Also, Trump said that it is not their fault, and it is China’s fault.
States will cover 25 percent of the cost using the existing fund, such as the tens of billions of dollars available to them through the CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund). States will be able to offer more significant benefits if they so choose, under that plan. Moreover, the federal government will cover 75 percent of the cost. Thus, they are all set up at $400 per week.
About the incremental state contribution to cover unemployment benefits given hemorrhaging state budgets, there was immediate bipartisan blowback. Governor Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) talked with CNN. Journalists asked him if his state could afford the new unemployment benefit. And they replied that he does not know that yet. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) tweeted executive orders cannot replace legislative actions. It is because states cannot pay 25% of unemployment costs. It is impossible, added Cuomo. Arkansas and Cuomo Governor Asa Hutchinson jointly head the National Governors Association. He issued a statement saying that they were concerned about the high administrative costs and burdens this latest action would place on the states.
White House officials appear to be tweaking guidance as not to require new money from the states, responding to the mounting criticism concerning the state contribution. Larry Kudlow, the White House National Economic Council, suggested that during a Tuesday interview on Fox News that the directive will be amended so that states would not have to put up incremental funds for unemployed Americans to qualify for the $300 federal benefit. Kudlow said that they slightly modified the mechanics of the deal. If states put another $100 into, states can still raise the interest more generally. Every state has put in $100 before will qualify for the extra $300.
Let us wait and see what happens in the United States.