President Donald Trump tried to assert executive power by signing four actions Saturday, one of which will provide as much as $400 in enhanced unemployment benefits — 25% of which states are being asked to cover — after Democrats and the White House were unable to reach an agreement on a coronavirus stimulus relief bill this week.
The other three actions he signed include a memorandum on a payroll tax holiday for Americans earning less than $100,000 a year, an executive order on “assistance to renters and homeowners” and a memorandum on deferring student loan payments.
“I’m taking action to provide an additional or extra $400 a week and expanded benefits, $400. That’s generous but we want to take care of our people,” Trump said about his memorandum on unemployment benefits at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump said $300 (or 75%) of the enhanced aid will come from the federal government, and $100 (or 25%) will therefore have to come from the states. Since governors would have to pay that $100 for people to get the full benefit, it is not clear how many of those unemployed would be able to receive the full $400 benefit.