To get federal funds for ‘lost wages assistance program’, State Governors must request the FEMA Administrator a grant for lost wages AND administer delivery of financial assistance for lost wages in conjunction with the State’s unemployment insurance system. This program authorizes the Governor to provide a $400 payment per week, which shall reflect a $300 Federal contribution, to eligible claimants from the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020. “Eligible claimants” means claimants who receive, for the week lost wages assistance is sought, at least $100 per week in benefits through various programs (refer to the memorandum in the description below).
The President signed an executive order stating that it was U.S. policy to minimize evictions and foreclosures. The order does not reinstate the federal eviction moratorium that expired last month or fund the billions in assistance that may be needed to help people already behind on their rent.
“The President cannot create new money with an executive order. These EOs simply show the limitations of the President’s legal authority,” said Jack Smalligan, a former official at the Office of Management and Budget and now a senior policy fellow at the Urban Institute, a centrist think tank.
The president said that if he wins reelection, he would seek to extend the deferral and somehow “terminate” the taxes that are owed. The payroll tax funds Social Security and Medicare benefits, and it’s unclear where those programs will get funding if the taxes are deferred. The President also said he would reduce income taxes.
Low and middle-income families’ spending power was bolstered in the spring by direct payments of $1,200 per adult that were included in a relief bill Mr. Trump signed into law in March. Lawmakers were pushing for a second round of those checks in a legislative deal. Mr. Trump’s measures will not provide them.
It was the President’s first choice for us to go up and negotiate a fair deal. So Mark Meadows and I negotiated nonstop. We went through every single line item with them for two weeks. Let me just give you a sense of this on education. They wanted a 100 billion. We agreed to 105 billion. They then raised their number to 400 billion. As the speaker just said, they wanted money for food. We compromised on food. We actually reached an agreement on that.
On the 25% that’s coming from money we already gave the states, this is effectively 100% paid for by the federal government. Let me also remind you that Obama during the financial crisis, paid a $25 top up. So this has never been done in the history of time. We thought $400 was a fair compromise. But let me just also say we offered to continue to pay $600 while we negotiate and the Democrats turned that down.
Some experts are baffled by the idea unemployment benefits can be extended unilaterally. “By definition states’ administration of unemployment insurance must conform to federal law — and there is no federal law on the books allowing for an additional sum.
We have tried repeatedly, Democrats have refused to negotiate. They want bailout money for poorly run Democratic states for many years, we are not willing to do that. Hopefully we can do something with them at a later date. We are going to sign some bills today to pretty much take care of this entire situation. 1/3rd of their bill has nothing to do with the pandemic.
Dr. Chhoda analyzes the language in the memorandum on the White House website.
Lost wages assistance is the key sentence why it appears the action may not be through typical unemployment benefits so technically it is not federal unemployment assistance. White House is expected to clarify shortly.
Dr. Nitin Chhoda closely analyzes the recent press conference in which both lead Democrats and the White House lead negotiators shared their thoughts about the status of the failed stimulus negotiations, offers his insight, and what comes next for unemployment benefits extension, evictions and more.
Speaker Pelosi is hosting Mark Meadows and Steven Mnuchin right now in her office in what is shaping up to be the final negotiation before the Senate and House recess.
The two sides are still very far apart at the current time. If a breakthrough has to happen, it must happen in this meeting, and I’ll break the news to you.