Governors across the United States struggled on Monday with how to make good on President Trump’s order that their economically battered states deliver billions more in unemployment benefits to jobless residents.
Democrats were harshly critical of Mr. Trump’s order, which he signed on Saturday night after talks with Congress on a broad new pandemic aid package collapsed. But even Republican governors said the order could strain their budgets and worried it would take weeks for tens of millions of unemployed Americans to begin seeing the benefit.
Congress initially provided a $600-a-week supplement to unemployment benefits when the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the United States in March. But that benefit lapsed on July 31, after talks between the White House and Congress broke down. Republicans had pushed for a $400 supplemental benefit, Democrats said it was not enough, and so on Saturday Mr. Trump ordered the $400 benefit — but said it was contingent on states to come up with $100 of that on their own.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York told reporters on Monday that Mr. Trump’s order would cost his state about $4 billion by the end of the year, making it little more than a fantasy. He said that no New Yorker would see enhanced unemployment benefits because of the president.
“This only makes a bad situation worse,” Mr. Cuomo said. “When you are in a hole, stop digging. This executive order only digs the hole deeper.”
His comments were echoed by Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky, a Democrat like Mr. Cuomo, who said Mr. Trump’s order would cost his state $1.5 billion through the end of the year.
“It’s not workable in its current form,” Mr. Beshear said. “It’s something virtually no state can afford.”