It is "silly" for Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to say it will take Americans too long to get their enhanced unemployment benefits in place, as they could have gotten it in place a week or 10 days ago, but states are already in a position to continue extended unemployment benefits, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday.
"Sen. (Mitch) McConnell put up short term extensions of unemployment and Democrats blocked it at least twice," Kudlow said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "The $600 plus that came out in March was administered by the states, with the help of the Labor Department."
Meanwhile, Kudlow said the administration remains willing to further negotiate another coronavirus stimulus bill.
"We would love to extend the payroll protection for small businesses," he said. "We want very much to be able to put additional money in for safe and secure school openings. The president is still open to direct mailing of checks of $1,200 per person. Those are things that we could talk about, more than willing to. But the Democrats have to change their views and they've got show us it's a serious matter."
The money President Donald Trump put in place over the weekend with his executive order reduces the initial $600 bonus payments to $400 a week, but the entire $400 does not come from the federal government with the new order, said Kudlow.
"We put out a formula," said Kudlow. "The states, first of all if they give $100 already in benefits, just $100, any state that gives $100 will qualify for the $300 federal (money.)
In some states, however, there have been complaints that the new plan will cost too much, particularly with the government saying they can use the funding they got through the early CARES Act for the benefits.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said the order would cost California $700 million per week and that the amount "simply doesn't exist," as it has already allocated its federal coronavirus relief money, reports Fox News.
Kudlow said the benefit actually would come to $700 per unemployed person, as the "baseline of unemployment benefits is roughly $400 per person per week."
"There are 16 million people unemployed," he said. "They need help. They need assistance and we stand to give it to them."
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