UPDATE #2: Gov. Jared Polis says there’s no way Colorado can sustain the additional burden imposed by Trump’s unemployment executive order, which results in a one-third cut to the benefit even if we do:
On the president’s unemployment executive order, Gov. Jared Polis says, “The State would not be able to (provide the $100 match) for more than two or three weeks.”
“Our state is not allowed to deficit-spend,” Polis adds later. #copolitics
— Justin Wingerter (@JustinWingerter) August 10, 2020
UPDATE: Former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill nails it:
With Republicans and Trump refusing to help any state or local governments they are the ones defunding the police. And Firefighters. And schools. And roads. And much more.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) August 10, 2020
Colorado Newsline reports on the executive order issued by President Donald Trump over the weekend after negotiations stalled out Friday between Republicans insisting on a smaller economic relief package and Democrats holding (mostly) firm behind the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act passed by the U.S. House:
He signed three presidential memoranda and an executive order, at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Trump would provide $300 per week in federal unemployment assistance with another $100 a week kicked in by states, consider temporarily stopping residential evictions, pause federal student loan payments and defer payroll taxes.
Trump said the actions would “take care of pretty much this entire situation, as we know it.” But Democrats in Congress are likely to continue pushing for a broader legislative package similar to the $3 trillion relief bill the House passed in May…
“Trump is trying to put a bandaid on the economic crisis with unconstitutional, illegal, logistically unworkable executive orders that contain bad policy,” Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia tweeted. “This isn’t a solution, it is a con.”
As Politico reports, a look at the actual effect of Trump’s actions makes it painfully clear Trump has not “taken care of” much of anything–and in fact left states, renters, and the American people who desperately need another stimulus check in the lurch:
Pelosi called the actions “illusions,” arguing that the eviction moratorium only asks leaders in charge to study whether a moratorium on evictions is feasible and that the payroll tax cut would undermine Social Security and Medicare.
“When you look at those executive orders, either the kindest thing I could say is he doesn’t know what he’s talking about or something’s wrong there — something’s very, very wrong there,” Pelosi said. “So to characterize them as even accomplishing what they set out to do, as something that would take the place of an agreement, is just not so.”
Schumer said the actions were “put together in a crazy way” that would take weeks or months to go into effect in most places and insisted that the $400 unemployment benefit is unworkable because states don’t have the money to pay $100 of it. Plus, he added, it depletes the hurricane trust fund at the height of hurricane season.
We’re watching for a response from Colorado officials to what amounts to a 50% cut in the extended unemployment benefit hundreds of thousands of Coloradans received before they expired on July 31st, unless the states kick in an additional $100 a week to cushion the reduction to one-third. Speaking for Colorado, we can say pretty confidently that we don’t have the money, at least not without inflicting significant hardship in some other respect. And even the best-case one-third cut to the benefit is going to put thousands of Coloradans currently on the edge of economic catastrophe over the edge.
For Sen. Cory Gardner, this means he is in no way off the hook politically for the failure to reach a legislative agreement. Gardner claimed last week that he supports renewal of the full $600 a week extended unemployment benefit, after he disparaged the idea in a friendly conservative podcast interview–but Gardner’s party and now Trump have exposed Gardner’s political impotence once again in the clutch. Nobody’s listening to him.
Whatever happens next, the economic pain Americans face in their immediate future because Republicans think we’re getting “too much” help is not going away with a stroke of Trump’s pen. Gardner’s lip service to supporting the unemployed and supporting cash-starved local governments, of which Colorado is a nationally prominent example, is completely undone by the unwillingness of Republican leadership to back up Gardner’s promises in their negotiations.
The worse it gets economically for Coloradans, the worse it gets for Gardner politically.
But no one should welcome the very real hardship coming because of Gardner’s failure.