NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Democrats from New York are reacting to the four measures signed by President Donald Trump on Saturday in a move to bypass stalled congressional stimulus talks.
They also raised questions about whether the moves would actually help Americans who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported Sunday.
“So the executive orders are all too narrow, unworkable and weak,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Schumer said the president’s orders don’t do enough, given the scope of the crisis.
“The bottom line is these executive orders do not come close to solving New York’s problem. So, I’m urging the president and my Republican colleagues in the Senate to sit down and meet with us,” Schumer said.
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Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats hit a wall last week. On Saturday, President Trump signed a directive to offer a federal unemployment supplement of $400 a week, less than the expired $600 supplement the jobless had been getting during the crisis.
“It’s not a hardship. This is the money that they need. This is the money they want. And this gives them a great incentive to go back to work,” Trump said.
The president also signed measures to defer student loan payments and payroll tax withholdings for some workers.
Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin said the administration is still willing to negotiate with Democrats on a relief package.
“Any time they have another offer to make, they can either call me or I’ll go up and see them. So of course we are going to listen, but they have to compromise,” Mnuchin said.
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As for the unemployment benefits, states would be expected to chip in a quarter of the money.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called that “laughable,” as states like New York have had their budgets decimated because of the pandemic.
“Impossible, on the state. The president by his executive order has us paying 25% of the unemployment insurance. That could cost us $4 billion. It’s just an impossibility,” Cuomo said in a phone interview.
Questions remain about whether the president’s actions are even legal, since Congress has the constitutional authority to allocate federal spending.
The executive measures could end up getting held up in court.
Cuomo also called on Congress to come up with legislation to help the unemployed, adding that money is desperately needed to safely open schools.