Governors balk at Trump's executive order forcing them to pick up slack for pandemic stimulus
President Donald Trump (screengrab)

On Monday, The New York Times reported that multiple governors are upset about President Donald Trump's plan to extend unemployment benefits by executive order, saying that the plan forces them to come up with too much money for their budgets to afford.

"Congress initially provided a $600-a-week supplement to unemployment benefits when the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the United States in March," said the report. "But that benefit lapsed on July 31, after talks between the White House and Congress broke down. Republicans had pushed for a $400 supplemental benefit, Democrats said it was not enough, and so on Saturday Mr. Trump ordered the $400 benefit — but said it was contingent on states to come up with $100 of that on their own."

One governor criticizing this proposal is Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), who said, “This only makes a bad situation worse. When you are in a hole, stop digging. This executive order only digs the hole deeper.” Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) agreed, saying his state can't produce the required $1.5 billion, and adding, “It’s not workable in its current form. It’s something virtually no state can afford.”

The unemployment insurance extension is one of four executive orders and memoranda signed by Trump over the weekend, as his party is unable to make a deal to extend stimulus with congressional Democrats. Other directives seek to defer evictions in federally-backed housing and payments on federally-backed student loans, and one other delays payroll taxes. The president anticipates these policies will face a challenge in court.