Trump signed a legally dubious executive order that directs the federal government to effectively extend the pandemic unemployment program at a greatly reduced amount but, for legal and financial reasons, the money probably won't reach very many people if it reaches anyone at all.
Trump's order calls for using funds already appropriated for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to extend benefits, but state governments are required to cover at least 25 percent of the cost under current law.
Now, as you know, states are already broke.
"The concept of saying to states, 'you pay 25 percent of the unemployment insurance' is just laughable,'" Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., said Sunday. "The whole issue here was getting states funding, state and local funding. You can't now say to states who have no funding, and you have to pay 25 percent of the unemployment insurance cost."
Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, said Trump's action flies in the face of what states and localities have been pushing for — substantial budget relief.
"Asking states now to take on additional expenses is unresponsive to these needs and threatens important programs and services," she said.
What Cuomo is referring to, of course, is the Trump regime and congressional Republican refusal to pass more funding for state and city governments who've been steadily shedding jobs over the past few months as revenue plummets.
The White House talking point against doing so is that states with budget shortfalls have not been 'managed well,' or whatever, but the list of states that are looking at significant shortfalls includes Republican-controlled states. My own state of Ohio, for example, which is controlled by a single party, is highly dependent on various sales and property taxes that have plummeted during the pandemic.
Trump wants states to pick up the tab for his mistakes while also bankrupting them and refusing to help.
House Democrats passed a stimulus bill in late May that includes more funding for states and an extension of the pandemic unemployment program through the rest of the year, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP sat on their asses for the entire summer.