New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that they believe President Trump’s executive actions on coronavirus relief are “unworkable.”
The extension reduced previous federal unemployment benefits to $400 from the $600 level that expired at the end of July after Congress failed to reach a deal on the benefits’ future. States are being asked to cover 25% of the enhanced unemployment benefits.
“I hope this was just a tactic by the President. If he thinks this is a resolution, this only makes a bad situation worse,” Cuomo said, on a press call. “My advice to the president is when you are in a hole stop digging. This Executive Order only digs the hole bigger.”
Both governors said the order would increase the cost on states that are already struggling financially due to economic impacts of coronavirus lockdown and response to the pandemic, and would bankrupt some states.
“My motivation today is not to criticize or suggest that the President’s Executive Order wasn’t intended to help, but simply to make the point that it’s not workable in its current form,” Beshear said, on the call.
Beshear added that he wanted a congressional solution, and for an unemployment benefit “at the $600 level.”
Cuomo said it would cost the state of New York $4 billion between now and December to pay 25% of the unemployment insurance for New Yorkers.
Cuomo added that the executive order “will be challenged in court” and that there are “serious legal questions” about the authority Trump had to issue the order.
Cuomo said Congress would have to pass a federal law to allow a state to go bankrupt. He challenged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Beshear’s home state, to pass such a law.
“I challenge McConnell to propose the law to bankrupt states. And watch the markets plummet overnight. They think they’re going to help bring jobs back? That’s what you’re going to do? By proposing to bankrupt states? Then do it.”