- The Treasury Deparment announced Monday it is borrowing about $3 trillion this quarter.
- The money is being used in large part to subsidize economic rescue efforts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Total U.S. government debt now is near $25 trillion, with the current fiscal year’s deficit running at $744 billion
California has become the first state to borrow money from the federal government so it can continue paying out rising claims for unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Golden State borrowed $348 million in federal funds after receiving approval to tap up to $10 billion for this purpose through the end of July, a Treasury Department spokesman said Monday.
The U.S. government has also approved loans of up to $12.6 billion for Illinois and up to $1.1 billion for Connecticut through the end of July to replenish state unemployment insurance funds, though the two states hadn’t yet started borrowing by the end of April. California was the only state to have accessed the program so far in the current downturn, the Treasury spokesman said.
States can use the money to pay regular unemployment benefits, while the extra $600 payments recently added for workers laid off during the pandemic are funded separately through federal emergency legislation signed into law in late March.
More than 30 million people have filed unemployment claims, including about 3.7 million in California, since mid-March, when the virus led to widespread business shutdowns.
California had about $1.9 billion in its unemployment trust fund in mid-April, down from $3.1 billion at the end of February, the month before the coronavirus upended the U.S. economy. The state’s labor department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.