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GOP Senators on Day 5 of Vacation as Report Reveals Trump’s Unemployment Stunt “May Only Provide Three-Week Boost”

Confusing Executive Order May Prevent States From “Sending Any New Aid At All”

A new Washington Post report further details the mess that Senate Republicans created when they let emergency unemployment relief expire nearly a month ago. Trump’s unemployment stunt – a chaotic executive order enabled by Senate Republicans – “may only provide [a] three week boost” and some states even fear that the “confusing criteria may prevent them from sending any new aid at all.”

After Senate Republicans wasted weeks bickering among themselves and insisting they didn’t see “a big need” to extend the critical emergency unemployment relief for millions, President Trump announced executive orders that would gut Social Security and Medicare, “create confusion,” and cause “a financial headache” for many states who already face “multibillion-dollar budget shortfalls.” Now, millions of Americans are unlikely to get any lasting relief.

Despite creating “an urgent crisis” by blocking expanded unemployment relief, Mitch McConnell and his caucus are on day five of their latest summer vacation as millions of Americans remain out of work and face difficulty providing for their families. Senate Republicans’ August recess comes after they refused to extend a critical lifeline and also blocked critical funding for the Postal Service – putting voting rights at risk, delaying the delivery of Social Security payments and prescription drugs for veterans and seniors, and harming small businesses.

Are Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans still blocking urgently needed relief? Yes. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Washington Post: Trump’s unemployment extension may only provide three-week boost, federal guidance reveals
By Tony Romm

Key Points: 

  • Out-of-work Americans may see only a three-week boost to their unemployment benefits, as state and federal officials scramble to stretch out a limited pot of money and implement President Trump’s recent policy order.
  • Many states have warned in recent days they face the prospect of immense delays as they race to upgrade their computer systems to implement Trump’s order. Others state unemployment officials have said they fear the program’s confusing criteria may prevent them from sending any new aid at all.
  • “It’s just more uncertainty for workers at a time when uncertainty is a bad idea,” said Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Center.
  • Signing the order earlier this month, Trump touted that jobless Americans could see a $400 boost to their weekly checks. But the amount is actually contingent on states supplying a quarter of the funds on their own dime, a burden some governors have said they cannot bear at a time when the coronavirus is cutting deeply into their budgets — forcing them to spend less, rather than more, in the absence of additional support from Washington.
  • On Capitol Hill, the prospect that the president’s order may only result in a few short weeks of aid incensed Democrats, who blamed Republicans for failing to come to an agreement on a new round of coronavirus relief. The two parties have been at odds for months, in part because GOP lawmakers contend the $600 payments that Congress authorized as part of the Cares Act in March had deterred people from returning to work. Democrats, however, see the payments as essential to keeping the economy afloat.
  • “Donald Trump said workers would receive benefits quickly, but they will wait a month or longer,” said Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) in a statement. “Bills will pile up, and families will go hungry, falling further behind on the rent and unable to buy medicines.”

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