Is Trump’s unemployment extension constitutional? – FindLaw

WASHINGTON, DC - August 5: US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the James Brady press room at the White House on August 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.  Trump administration officials and Democratic leaders in Congress continue to negotiate extended unemployment benefits and an additional economic stabilization and coronavirus relief package.  (Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Although millions desperately need more unemployment relief across the country, and a second stimulus package has yet to be approved, President Trump’s announcement of a new unemployment extension may not be all that reasonable.

$ 400 in virtual relief

Democrats in the House of Representatives earlier passed the HEROES Act, which would have saved an additional $ 600 per week in unemployment benefits for the rest of 2020. But Republicans in Congress have their own idea: the HEALS Act, which will provide an additional $ 200 per week through September through September will start the program. Partial replacement of wages in October.

President Trump appears to have agreed to a compromise when he does I signed a warrant On Saturday it will save an additional $ 400 per week for Americans eligible for unemployment assistance until early December or when earmarked funding runs out.

The memo describes the United States as being in a “national emergency” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although presidents generally get greater powers during times of war or national distress, the type of spending program Trump describes in his recent executive memo is traditionally only the power granted to Congress. Does Trump’s $ 400 Extension Of Unemployment Violate The Constitution?

Even Trump does not seem confident

The president himself acknowledged that his executive order would be considered problematic by many. “Maybe we’ll be sued” He said.

He announced this in the Trump memo $ 300 will come from $ 400 in federal funding, While the rest will be provided by the states. The money involved – up to $ 45 billion – will come from the Department of Homeland Security’s Disaster Relief Fund.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution Only Congress grants authority to spend federal funds. This leaves President Trump’s potential executive order subject to intense legal scrutiny, though it remains unclear whether any lawsuit will be brought against the Trump memo.

However, the programs that must be mobilized in order to distribute these unemployment funds will take time to become operational, leaving plenty of time for challenges to arise against the president’s memo. As with many of Trump’s policies, time will only tell whether this unemployment extension pays off or fades in light of legal challenges.

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