White House: $400 per Week Unemployment Benefits Starting in 2 Weeks

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $400 weekly unemployment benefit payment, authorized under President Donald Trump’s recent executive action, will be distributed within several weeks.

Trump on Saturday issued an executive order to continue the expanded federal payments, which include $300 in federal money and $100 in state money.

On Monday, Mnuchin said in a late evening press conference that the payments could be expected “within a week or two.” A reporter was asking questions to him and President Trump in the briefing.

“Within the next week or two, most of the states will be able to execute,” he said in full.

And on Tuesday, White House adviser Larry Kudlow, who is in charge of the National Economic Council, told Fox News that the payments will be sent out in about two weeks.

The federal unemployment payments of $600 per week were discontinued on July 31, while Congress has remained deadlocked in talks on a forthcoming measure. Top Democrats have said that they want to see those benefits continue until early next year, while Republican Senators sought to pay $200 per week.

“The baseline of unemployment from states is roughly $400 per person per week, that’s the median. On top of that, the federal government is going to put in $300. … We will work with [governors] if there’s any complications,” Kudlow said.

Kudlow stipulated that other Democrat-proposed measures “too high,” adding that “a third of it has nothing to do with COVID-19,” referring to the House-passed HEROES Act. “That needs to be stripped out. That’s Democratic left-wing wish list, take that out, chop their number down.”

Some governors this week said they are not receptive to the White House’s plan on unemployment.

“We started with a $30 billion hole, and your solution [will] cost me another $4 billion? Thank you,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a press conference. “That’s handing the drowning man an anchor. Hold on to this.”

The White House has stated that states can submit an application to have the federal government cover the $100 per week payments.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, meanwhile, accepted the Trump executive order on Monday.

DeWine told CNN that Ohio was looking at avenues of how to pay the extra $100. “We’re looking at it right now to see if we can do this,” the governor said.

According to the White House, the $400 benefit is slated to expire no later than December 2020 and will continue “until the balance of the [Disaster Relief Fund (DRF)] reaches $25 billion or for weeks of unemployment ending not later than December 6, 2020, whichever occurs first, at which time the lost wages assistance program shall terminate.”

The benefits, additionally, will expire automatically upon “enactment of legislation providing, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, supplemental Federal unemployment compensation, or similar compensation, for unemployed or underemployed individuals,” said the White House.