August 08,2020

Wyden Statement on Trump Executive Actions on Unemployment Benefits, Payroll Tax Cut

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement in reaction to Donald Trump’s executive actions: 

“Donald Trump is trying to distract from his failure to extend the $600 federal boost for 30 million unemployed workers by issuing illegal executive orders. This scheme is a classic Donald Trump con: play-acting at leadership while robbing people of the support they desperately need.

“While Democrats want to reinstate the $600 federal boost, this ploy would cut it by one-third. It would throw already overburdened state unemployment insurance programs into chaos, making it harder to get benefits out the door. 

“I’ve heard grave concerns from states about this proposal and they are simply going to opt out. Their budgets have been crushed. They cannot afford a 25 percent match, especially when unemployment trust funds are under tremendous strain and Republicans oppose funding for state and local governments. 

“If Donald Trump was serious about wanting to reinstate unemployment benefits rather than sell snake oil, his people would quit stonewalling and negotiate a deal with Democrats that meets the needs of American families.

“Donald Trump’s scheme could also drain the Social Security trust fund for a fake tax cut.

“While employers are unlikely to risk a massive tax liability by not collecting payroll taxes or having to double up collection later, if they do go along with this stunt, it would drain the Social Security trust fund. This fake tax cut would also be a big shock to workers who thought they were getting a tax cut when it was only a delay. These workers would be hit with much bigger payments down the road. 

“In the interim, workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own would get nothing, and workers who have lost shifts and tips would get little help.”