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excerpts from a news report by Associated Press Writers Brian Witte in Annapolis, Maryland; Larry Neumeister in New York; Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut; Stephen Groves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Thomas Strong in Washington; and Jonathan Lemire in Bedminster, New Jersey, contributed to this report.
Trump announced an executive order Saturday that extends additional unemployment payments of up to $400 a week to help cushion the economic fallout of the pandemic. But under Trump’s plan, the $400 a week requires a state to commit to providing $100.
Many states are already facing budget crunches caused by the pandemic.
Trump . . . told reporters as he returned to Washington that states could make application to have the federal government provide all or part of the $400 payments. Decisions would be made state by state, he said.
Aubrey Layne, secretary of finance for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat said .
“The better solution would be for Congress to pass legislation. I think it would have been better for the president to use his influence in those negotiations, rather than standing on the sideline and then riding in like a shining knight.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called the plan “an impossibility.”
“I don’t know if the president is genuine in thinking the executive order is a resolution or if this is just a tactic in the negotiation, but this is irreconcilable for the state. And I expect this is just a chapter in the book of Washington COVID mismanagement.”
In Connecticut, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the plan would cost his state $500 million to provide that benefit for the rest of the year, and called Trump’s plan “not a good idea. I could take that money from testing — I don’t think that’s a good idea,”
On ABC”s “This Week,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called it “an unworkable plan. “Most states will take months to implement it, because it’s brand new. It’s sort of put together with spit and paste. And many states, because they have to chip in $100, and they don’t have money, won’t do it,” Schumer said.
Many states struggled to adjust outdated computer systems to accommodate the $600 payment, which along with the massive influx of new claims resulted in long delays in providing benefits. Reprogramming the computers again to accommodate the new amount could result in similar glitches
This could have been avoided if Congress had done their jobs.
I agree, but the financial demand on the states is ridiculous.
What is a better solution?
I've no objection to a further federal extension of unemployment benefits, but any discussion of how much is bound to be convoluted.