Because Congress has been unable to agree on a second stimulus package, President Donald Trump took matters into his own hands on Saturday by issuing an executive order. His order called for an eviction moratorium, student loan forbearance, a payroll tax holiday, and $400 in weekly unemployment benefits. But, according to USA Today, that figure could actually be closer to $300.
Under Trump's executive order, states would have to pay $100 of the $400 total for these unemployment benefits, with the federal government's contribution capped at $300. Additionally, it was said that the states would have to grant this $100 if jobless individuals want to receive the $300 from the federal government. Larry Kudlow, the White House economic advisor, said on Tuesday that the Trump administration had modified its plans for enhanced unemployment benefits. This modification comes after numerous states raised concerns about being able to pay their share of the $400 total.
Kudlow shared that the administration has decided that states will no longer have to foot the extra $100 of the total if they already grant at least $100 in state unemployment benefits. The economic advisor said that most states do meet that requirement and will not have to put up any extra money. As a result, eligible Americans will receive $300 in federal benefits in addition to the unemployment funds that they collect from the state. Kudlow said, "We felt that was a good, generous compromise." He also noted that these checks would be going out in a matter of weeks and that they would be retroactive to Aug. 1. Since the average state unemployment benefits total $400, most Americans can expect to receive around $700 in weekly unemployment benefits.
The topic of unemployment benefits has been one of the most significant points of contention between Republicans and Democrats who have been trying to come together on a stimulus plan. Under the CARES Act, eligible Americans received an additional $600 per week in unemployment funding. However, that benefit expired on July 31 without another plan to take its place. While Trump's executive order did address the topic of unemployment benefits, his memo was soon met with criticism with experts saying that it would be hard to implement this initiative within the states. But, based on this new information from the White House's economic advisor, it seems as though there will no longer be a problem as far as the states are concerned.