Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNN that the administration expects states to be able to cover the portion of enhanced unemployment benefits that President Trump ordered through executive action on Saturday.
If states don’t agree to participate and meet the financial requirement of paying 25% of the $400 amount, then the unemployed in those states will not receive any of the extra assistance.
Kudlow also acknowledged that some people may not receive the full enhanced benefit depending on where they live, he argued most people would get $400 per week on top of normal unemployment insurance.
“We’re talking about averages here,” Kudlow told CNN’s Dana Bash.
“Our estimates from the Treasury Department in terms of the CARES Act one was that states have not spent all the money that was allocated to them,” Kudlow said, referring to the sweeping stimulus package Congress passed in March.
More details: Kudlow said the White House expects states to use what he described as that “considerable overflow” of previous stimulus funding to pay for the unemployment benefit.
Trump’s order requires states to provide $100 of the $400 enhanced benefit, with the federal government providing the remaining $300. Some experts have said states will not be able to use those funds for this unemployment aid since it is a new program not authorized by Congress.
“We will be repurposing funds from other areas” to pay for the federal portion of the benefit, Kudlow said. “Based on our estimates, the states will be able to provide the extra $100.”
Kudlow defended the President’s order establishing what the White House had described as an eviction moratorium, but which does not actually provide one.
“We’re setting up a process, a mechanism,” Kudlow said of the order.
He said the executive action establishes a process that will allow the Department of Health and Human Services to flag areas of concerning Covid-19 spread, and within those areas the moratorium could apply more broadly.
“If HHS declares emergencies, then evictions will be stopped,” he said. Kudlow noted people living in federally-financed single family homes will continue to be protected.
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