During a press conference at Bedminster, NJ golf resort on Saturday, President Trump announced that he had signed a measure to provide an additional $400 per week for workers displaced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump made the decision as prolonged negotiations between the congressional Democrats and the White House have been unsuccessful in extending unemployment benefits.
The originally extended unemployment benefits, which provides a $600 per week to standard state unemployment benefits, had expired last month. The memorandum calls up to $44 billion of federal funds from the State’s Homeland Security Disaster Relief Fund to support the benefits.
According to the White House, states could use the CARES Act or the March funding of coronavirus relief packages to support their portion of the benefits.
As indicated in the memorandum signed by Trump, he authorized the federal government to pay $300 a week for unemployed individuals. States would be asked to pay an extra $100, for a total of $400 weekly for people on unemployment.
COVID-19 took a significant toll on everyone’s businesses and health. Every country was left with no choice but to go for an economic shutdown to control the virus. In the US, this sent nearly 20 million American citizens to the unemployment line.
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, about half of those jobs have recovered. It showed that the unemployment rate is 10.1% five months after hitting a 50-year low.
Despite the increasing jobless problem, Republicans and Democrats were unable to agree on the unemployment benefits extension, until the previous provision expired a week ago. Republicans have resisted keeping the original compensation at $600, with indications that they were aiming at $200 per week.
Trump’s action represented a midpoint between the two opposing positions. His decision was a part of a series of measures he directed to address the colossal damage the coronavirus spread has caused to the economy.
Moreover, Trump has also signed three other measures to direct ceasing evictions, offer a tax holiday, and postpone student loan payments.
Trump said that through the four measures he has authorized, he sees his administration provide “immediate relief” to Americans struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump is also looking at other actions, including cutting the capital gains tax rate and income tax relief.