Trump blames Democrats for cutting jobless benefits — but it's GOP demanding cuts


Senate Republicans want to cut extra weekly unemployment payments from $600 per week to $200 per week.

Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked Democrats for not making relief payments to Americans impacted by the coronavirus high enough — even though it's Republicans who have proposed massive cuts to unemployment insurance payments.

Senate Republicans have refused to take up a relief bill Democrats in the House passed in May.

"The Democrats aren't taking care of the people. The payments aren't enough. The payments aren't enough, you understand that?" Trump said Wednesday morning as he left the White House en route to Texas, where he's scheduled to host a fundraiser and tour an oil rig. "They're not making the payments, they're not making them high enough. The Democrats are not taking care of the people."

Trump said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "takes care of herself, but she doesn't take care of anyone else," and alluded vaguely to "what's going on with" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "In the meantime," he said, "we oughta stop evictions, because that expires very soon."

House Democrats passed a bill on May 15 that would send out another round of $1,200 economic stimulus payments to Americans after the first such payments were made in March.

In the bill, Democrats also extended a $600 weekly unemployment insurance boost to help laid-off workers. Democrats voted to extend the payments, which expire on July 31, through the rest of 2020.

And Democrats also included an extension of a moratorium on evictions and of housing assistance to help ensure people are able to keep a roof over their heads amid the economic recession caused by the coronavirus.

Since Democrats in the House passed that bill, Republicans have continually said no more coronavirus relief was needed.

Senate Republicans refused to take up the House bill, instead waiting until a week before the $600 weekly payments expire to release their own legislation. The delay resulted in the payments expiring.

In their own bill, Republicans propose slashing the $600 weekly unemployment payments to $200, which economists say could lead to 3.4 million more jobs lost.

The GOP bill fails to extend the moratorium on the evictions that Trump says "oughta be stopped."

The Republican bill does, however, include billions in military spending, along with funding for a new FBI headquarters to be located directly across the street from Donald Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel.

The GOP bill also includes additional tax breaks that businesses can use to write off corporate meals, which experts said will not help the struggling economy.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.