MID-SOUTH — President Trump issued one executive order and three executive memoranda (which fall short of an executive order), after threatening Congress on Friday. He told congressional leaders he would take matters into his own hands if they did not come up with a plan to offer continuing relief to struggling Americans as the country deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The President announced that he was postponing payroll taxes through the end of the year, extending the federal unemployment benefit at $400 a week (with states picking up part of the cost), waiving student debt interest payments, and helping people “stay in their homes.”
President Trump said he wants to extend the federal unemployment benefit at $400 a week instead of the $600 many are used to getting ad he wants states to cover 25 percent of the cost.
Some governors are not certain where the money is going to come from.
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FOX13 reached out to state leaders in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi to find out what steps they’re taking.
Many continue to struggle to get back to work and some are waiting for unemployment benefits after filing months ago.
FOX13 asked Arkansas’s Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston whether the state can sustain with the additional money, with having to do the additional 25 percent.
“Yes. I believe we can sustain,” said Preston. “We have the funds that were provided via the Cares Act and we have some funds set aside for future usage. What we’re going to have to do is tap into those funds.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted saying states can’t pay 25 percent of unemployment costs. “It’s simply impossible,” he said.
A spokesman with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce said the department is awaiting guidance from the United States Department of Labor concerning rules and conditions of implementation of the program outlined in the executive order. States like Mississippi and Arkansas are also waiting to receive more information before moving forward.
“It’s all new to us right now, we’re studying the executive order and we’re still waiting for some guidance from Department of Labor and FEMA who this will flow through so once we get that, we’ll know better as a state how we need to adjust,” said Preston.
President Trump is receiving a lot of criticism, some are even calling this executive order unconstitutional.
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