President Donald Trump has largely failed in responding to the Coronavirus. Besides the floundering of the public health side of his administration’s response, he’s also majorly stumbled when it comes to the economic side. Last week, he signed an executive order outlining a plan for a $400-a-week add-on to unemployment benefits — but states are expected to contribute 25 percent of the money, and it’s unclear when the benefits will actually be ready to go out. It’s a cop-out. During time on ABC this weekend, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the president’s latest action “a big show” that “doesn’t do anything.”
Trump signed his unemployment benefits increase order at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club. Schumer said:
‘The event at the country club is just what Trump does — a big show but it doesn’t do anything, and as the American people look at these executive orders, they’ll see they don’t come close to doing the job, in two ways — one, what they proposed, and second, what’s left out… Americans want to work, but with 10, 11 percent unemployment — you can’t find a job, and people shouldn’t be given a pay cut… This is 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.’
Watch his comments below:
JUST IN: Sen. Chuck Schumer tells @GStephanopoulos that President Trump’s COVID-19 executive orders are “unworkable, weak and far too narrow.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 9, 2020
Schumer seems to be right on-point in terms of the length of time that it might take to enact the $400 a week addition to unemployment benefits. As Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein explained:
‘So, potentially huge catch from [Michele Evermore], who says the Trump order does NOT increase federal unemployment benefits. Instead, Evermore says, the order would create a NEW program — 1 to offset “lost wages” — that could “take months” to implement.’
! So, potentially huge catch from @EvermoreMichele, who says the Trump order does NOT increase federal unemployment benefits
Instead, Evermore says, the order would create a NEW program — 1 to offset "lost wages" — that could "take months" to implementhttps://t.co/4RgPzUkWuc
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) August 8, 2020
In other words, the unemployment benefits would seemingly not actually come through the ordinary unemployment benefits program. As Schumer referenced, although Americans are struggling right now, the president’s executive action on unemployment would create an entirely new program that states would have to implement. If those states can’t contribute the $100 a week per unemployment benefits recipient, then the benefits might be capped at $300 a week — hardly enough to keep struggling Americans afloat.
More accurate to call this a $300 benefit, with a hope that the states can kick in $100 on top of that? It's a 50% cut.
— David Thomas (@MrDavidThomas) August 8, 2020