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Trump speaks with DeSantis at Palm Beach International Airport, Florida, Sept. 8. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) plans to terminate a Trump program that supports unemployment benefits for out-of-work Floridians because the state's jobless program doesn't have the resources to qualify for the federal assistance, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Florida is among the first states to stop the program because of the cost. The state doesn't pay its unemployed workers enough to meet the 25% matching requirement, so people will lose out on an extra $300 a week made possible by President Trump's executive order, Politico notes.

The big picture: The move to scrap the federal assistance comes just eight weeks before the 2020 election. Trump's re-election path has to go through Florida, Axios White House editor Margaret Talev writes.

The state of play: DeSantis said last week that Florida didn't have the "capacity" to accept the $300 payments from the Trump administration.

  • The program requires that states spend at least $100 per person per week on its own jobless benefits to qualify, Politico writes.
  • Florida has one of the weakest unemployment programs in the U.S.

What to watch: DeSantis is expected to put roughly $6 billion worth of CARES Act money that Congress sent to Florida toward the state’s COVID-19 response and fill in the budget.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Weekly jobless claims rise to 885,000 as Congress nears stimulus deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Initial weekly jobless claims rose to 885,000 last week, an increase of 23,000 and a higher total than the 800,000 claims economists had projected, according to data released by the Labor Department.

Why it matters: The jobless numbers are moving in the wrong direction heading into the holidays. Amid clear indicators that the economic recovery is slowing, Congress looks set to reach a deal on a targeted stimulus package as soon as today.

2 hours ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).