Schumer: You Know, Trump's EOs 'Belittle the American People'

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Posted: Aug 09, 2020 10:15 AM
Schumer: You Know, Trump's EOs 'Belittle the American People'

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he took issue with the four Wuhan Coronavirus Executive Orders President Donald Trump signed on Saturday. Specifically, Schumer takes issue with the president's EO dropping unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $400 a week. States will kick in $100 a week towards a person's unemployment benefits.

"Unfortunately, the president's executive orders described in one word could be parliamentarian, in three words unworkable, weak and far too narrow," Schumer said. 

"The $600 a week has been very successful. It's kept millions of people out of poverty. It's pumped more money into the economy," he explained. "Consumer spending is probably the best thing going in the economy."

Stephanopoulos mentioned that President Trump and Republicans have said the $600 a week in unemployment disincentivizes people going back to work. Some are making more on unemployment than they did working.

"The evidence shows that's not the case," Schumer replied. "That belittles the American people. Americans want to work, but with 10-11 percent unemployment, you can't find a job and people shouldn't be given a pay cut."

"Most states will take months to implement it, because it's brand new, it's sort of put together with spit and paste, and many states, because they have to chip in $100 and they don't have money won't do it," he said. "And to boot it depletes the hurricane trust fund to defer this money, to pay for this, when we're at the height of hurricane season."

It's not belittling the American people to realize there are some who are taking advantage of the system. If someone works full-time at a rate of $7.25 an hour (the federal minimum wage), that's $290 a week. Why would someone willingly stop collecting unemployment when they can have a vacation and make almost double the money? 

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This isn't about belittling anyone. It's about being honest with the system and how people are trying to take advantage of it.