President Trump is making good on his pledge to take action after coronavirus relief talks with Congress stalled. As we told you before, he threatened to take action if Congress couldn’t cut a deal by last Friday. When that didn’t happen, Trump signed executive orders (well, one order and three memoranda). What’s in them?
Among other things, his orders extend federal unemployment benefits to the tune of $400 per week and suspend payroll taxes through the end of the year. Other actions include halting rental evictions and suspending student loan repayments. Thing is, some are questioning if the documents will actually help. Why?
The White House released the texts of the one executive order and three memos. To pay for the extra 400-dollars in unemployment benefits, the President is taking money from the natural disaster fund right before what many expect to be an active hurricane season.
The federal government would pay $300, and states would have to kick in the other 100. While it's unclear if he can actually force them to do so, many states say they simply can’t afford it.
The memo on the payroll tax does not suspend it entirely. It authorizes businesses to quit taking it out of workers' paychecks, but don’t get too excited - taxpayers would still have to pay it when they file their taxes.
But on that note, the President says if he's re-elected he will do away with it entirely. And that’s an issue – because he can’t do that on his own – Constitutionally, Trump needs Congressional approval to do so. Also? That tax funds Social Security and Medicare, so it’s unclear what happens to them if there is no funding. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse called Trump’s moves “unconstitutional slop.” Not surprisingly, a number of Democrats agree.
Source: CBS News