Top White House economic adviser defends Trump’s coronavirus executive actions

WashingtonThe White House’s top economic adviser on Sunday defended a series of executive actions President Donald Trump signed a day earlier to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, attempting to explain how states will be able to work with the federal government to provide assistance to Americans impacted by the crisis.

Larry Kudlow told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” that the administration expects states to be able to cover the portion of enhanced unemployment benefits that Trump ordered through executive action on Saturday. If states don’t agree to participate and meet the financial requirement of paying 25% of the as much as $400 amount, people receiving benefits 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. “We’re talking about averages here,” he said.
“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.
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 action requires states to provide $100 of the as much as $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 re-purposing funds from other areas” to pay for the federal portion of the benefit, Kudlow said, adding: “Based on our estimates, the states will be able to provide the extra $100.”
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