The orders establish some measures of economic relief before the financial blow of the pandemic in the United States. But the extent of Trump’s authority to take these actions is not yet clear.
President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a series of executive orders that establish some economic relief measures in the face of the financial blow of the pandemic in the United States, after blaming the congressional Democrats for the stalemate in the negotiations to approve a second package. of stimulus.
One of these measures provides for the extension until the end of the year of the additional unemployment benefits to millions of Americans, although the amount of the weekly payment introduced is 400 dollars. Democrats had demanded that these payments remain at $ 600, but Trump said he wants to incentivize workers to return to their jobs.
The executive action also provides for the suspension of the salary tax until the end of this year, the extension of the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent and the suspension of the payment of student loans indefinitely.
However, the extent of Trump’s authority to take these actions is unclear. Its executive orders would be vulnerable to legal challenges, as it is Congress, not the executive, that is responsible for allocating these funds. “They will probably sue me. But we’ll see, “he said on Friday when questioned by a reporter.
The president took advantage of the press conference to make campaign promises and attack his main political opponent in the face of the November elections , Democratic candidate Joe Biden, as well as insisting once again on questioning the security of voting by mail. amplifying falsehoods without proof, at a time when a good part of the country has turned to that option due to the pandemic.
“(The Democrats) want to steal the elections,” he said during a news conference from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, in New Jersey,
Trump said he would act on executive order after talks between Congressional Democrats and the White House on a second COVID-19 economic relief package ended without a deal on Friday .
“I will act under my authority as president to give Americans the relief they need,” Trump told reporters during an appearance at his Bedminster, NJ, golf club Friday night.
One of the most disputed points with the Democrats during the negotiations was the amount to be awarded to the families who were beneficiaries of additional unemployment benefits due to the coronavirus crisis. Previously it was $ 600 a week. Democrats wanted to keep this same amount, but Republicans objected, suggesting lowering it to $ 200 a week.
The measure to suspend the wage tax would not help unemployed workers, who do not pay the tax when they are out of work, and would face bipartisan opposition in Congress , according to The Associated Press. The cut, a long-expressed wish by Trump, would affect payroll taxes that are meant to cover Medicare and Social Security benefits.
This Friday’s meeting between Republicans and Democrats was the last chance to reach an agreement in Congress that would allow the benefits and aid to be extended to the unemployed and businesses affected by the economic impact caused by the coronavirus.
With information from NBC News and MSNBC.