- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2020

Former acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Monday said President Trump’s executive action on unemployment insurance could force blue state governors to kick in money despite their protests.

Mr. Trump signed an executive memo over the weekend to provide a $400-per-week extra unemployment benefit — $300 of which would be covered by the federal government.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called kicking the responsibility for the remaining 25% to the states an “impossibility.”

Mr. Mulvaney said governors such as Mr. Cuomo have a right not to participate in the program.

“I think it would be very difficult for him to continue that if he turns out to be wrong and you go to a state like South Carolina, where I am, and the governor’s a Republican — decides to try and work with the federal government to get that extra supplement,” Mr. Mulvaney said on Fox Business Network.

“And if it starts working in those states, [it will be] very difficult for those blue state governors to sort of stay on the sidelines,” he said.

Mr. Trump acted after congressional leaders failed to come to an agreement on another round of coronavirus relief after weeks of negotiating.

A $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit had expired at the end of July.

Democrats wanted to extend those $600-per-week benefits at least through the end of the year, while Republicans had offered $200 per week, saying they didn’t want to make it more lucrative for people to take the unemployment rather than return to work.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said on Sunday that states could cover the 25% share through funds they’ve already been allocated or that the president could waive the state share.

Mr. Trump also took executive action over the weekend to defer payroll tax collections and student loan payments and extend a moratorium on housing evictions.

Democrats denounced the president’s moves as ineffective and/or unconstitutional.

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