COVID-19, Governor Roy Cooper, News

As Senate leaves on recess, Cooper labels failure of Trump, Congress to reach agreement on unemployment ‘unconscionable’

“We need to get unemployment compensation to the people who need it, people who are hanging by a thread, who need to put food on the table and need to pay the rent.”

Governor Roy Cooper sounded frustrated Thursday that Congress and President Trump remained in a stalemate over how to roll out the next coronavirus relief package and an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits.

Cooper explained Trump’s executive order provides for a $300 weekly boost in federal unemployment insurance, but it also requires states provide a $100 weekly match, which would come from the North Carolina Unemployment Trust Fund.

Setting all this up could take weeks, something jobless individuals can ill afford.

“One thing I have said to our members of Congress and U.S. Senators – don’t create more programs here. Already this is difficult enough for states to administer because of the overwhelming number of people who lost their jobs. Fund the programs that we have already set up,” said Gov. Cooper during his weekly update on COVID-19.

A closer look at NC unemployment claims filed over the past week. (Source: NCDES)

Since mid-March more than 1.2 million North Carolinians have applied for state unemployment insurance benefits. Twenty-five percent of those claimants (305, 145) were deemed not eligible for any benefits.

(Reasons for a claim being rejected can include an insufficient wage history or failure to file a weekly certification.)

Cooper also stressed the need for the legislature to revisit state jobless benefits.

“Most people are running out of their payments after 12 weeks. The cap of $350 per week in North Carolina needs to be raised. The state legislature needs to take action.”

As for Congress, members have adjourned for the remainder of August and are unlikely to return to the debate over enhanced unemployment benefits until after Labor Day.

On Thursday the U.S. Labor Department announced 963,000 people filed for unemployment last week, a slight decrease from the previous week.


  1. Damius Fleet

    August 14, 2020 at 7:59 am

    I think it’s really important for the governor to put a halt on eviction until Congress comes up with a more lucrative package for t if e American people.

  2. Steve

    August 16, 2020 at 12:23 am

    Gov cooper please get the enhanced unemployment to us. And please stop utilities from being cut off again until end of year . And stop evictions. Im about to be homeless because of political games

  3. Nelson

    August 16, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    I think the governor should do what’s best for his North Carolina people, no one doesn’t care for the states


    August 16, 2020 at 8:21 pm


  5. Edward A Westrick

    August 17, 2020 at 12:34 am

    No ONE governor can solve all these problems particularly when he has a do nothing. republican dominated state house. You NCers need to give him the Democratic statehouse that’s will work with him.

  6. Sonya White

    August 17, 2020 at 1:38 am

    Ive been waiting several weeks for enhanced unemployment benefits to start. Please get these funds to North Carolinians. For most this income is literally keeping food on tables and utilities on for our families. I don’t know how many more weeks I and others can live without these benefits.

  7. Crystal

    August 17, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I wish gov. Cooper wouystop talking about what he wants done with unemployment and do what’s been out on the table for us right now. We N.C. should have been one of the first states to apply for the benefits I mean gov. Cooper has let New Mexico and Iowa get theses benefits before us. He says he has the money to fund the 100$ well less talking and more showing increase theses weeks of unemployment. Apply and get us the extra 400$ in unemployment from fema. Your are the voice for us. Some of us have been outta work since this whole thing started we depend on unemployment to pay our bills to put food on the table. Plz do what’s right for NC

  8. fred dravis

    August 17, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    congress needs to stop this in-fighting and help the people. ENOUGH already with the he said….she said. This is the people’s life at stake here.

  9. Brandon J Walker

    August 19, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Definitely need the unemployment benefits now .bill coming up to deadline if not already pass .lights being cut wifi insurance…. it has to be some way to speed up we dying out here

  10. Caroline Piper

    August 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Forbes announced Cooper hadn’t even turned in NC’s application yet in its list of which states have already begun receiving payments ( Arizona ) citing Cooper is waiting and holding out on the State NOT having to pay the additional $100. Cooper is stalling the application blaming the amount not being $600 AND the longevity of NC’s benefits to begin with . He’s not on your side . If he were , the application would already be submitted and approved . The longer he waits , the LESS money will be left for NC’s unemployed. The money won’t come for another month or so in all reality .

  11. Bridget

    August 20, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Come on!!! Submit the dang application already ! This is literally causing hardship to families!

  12. Louis

    August 21, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Politicians have great pay and great health insurance and pension, and we the people are the ones who pay them. Why would they take a break from working during these very unusual times, it’s very simple, they do not care. North Carolina should have been the first State to apply, but instead Cooper is stalling, it’s been 3 weeks since Trump signed the executive order and all he can say is that he is working on filing the paperwork…mmmm should have been done the Monday August 10th, we need to take back our country and get rid of all the life long Politicians. Very sad situation for all of us here in NC.

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