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Congress Hopelessly Gridlocked – Trump Steps In, Orders COVID Assistance

Congress Hopelessly Gridlocked – Trump Steps In, Orders COVID Assistance

President Trump on Saturday issued a series of executive orders to defer payroll taxes and federal student loan payments, halt evictions, and replace an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on another stimulus package before entering a monthlong recess.

The controversial move comes days after Trump told reporters he would suspend payroll taxes himself after lawmakers refused to incorporate the idea into the next stimulus package. 

As it stands, payroll taxes will be deferred starting August 1st through the end of 2020 and will need to be repaid in the future. Trump has already hinted that he may forgive the debt if he is re-elected in November.

Some experts say the tax holiday will produce an immediate 7.5% pay increase for working Americans, while others say the Treasury cannot legally ask employers to pass the savings along to employees. Either way, employers are unlikely to participate unless they are certain the tax will be forgiven.

The executive order on unemployment provides a $400-per-week benefit that is a compromise between the $600 proposed by Democrats and the $200 proposed by Republicans. Trump has asked states to cover 25% of the new benefit and is hoping to use $44 billion in disaster aid funds to help states. The previous unemployment benefits, which expired August 1st, were fully funded by the federal government.

The package also calls on the Treasury and HUD departments to find money to help those struggling to pay rent.

“My Administration has been working around the clock in good faith to reach an agreement with Democrats on additional China virus relief. Already, my Administration has enacted over three trillion dollars in historic relief, saving many tens of millions of dollars in jobs, and you see how fast the economy is coming back,” said Trump. “We have tremendous enthusiasm, tremendous spirt, and tremendous job growth,” he continued. “We set a record on number of jobs in the last three months. It’s the most jobs ever created in a three-month period.”

Critics say Trump lacks the authority to suspend payroll taxes without congressional approval and cannot dictate state spending.

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) described Trump’s use of executive orders to accomplish policy goals as “unconstitutional slop,” while presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden described “half-baked measures” that put Social Security at risk.

Author’s Note: Trump’s bold decision shows that he is acting where Congress has failed. His decision will get money into the pockets of working Americans and help them recover from the pandemic. If Democrats or states attempt to sue Trump for subverting Congress, they will be portrayed as trying to block people from getting money.

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  1. Dan Tyree

    Real leadership. Come on commiecrats. Your turn.

  2. Richard Hennessy

    Congress had a deadline, but the Democrats blocked passage of a Republican bill because it didn’t contain as much spending as they wanted. President Trump acted. Real leadership.

  3. Mike

    Trump’s actions are nothing but political theater. The states have said they don’t have the money to add to his $300 offer of unemployment compensation-if states don’t step up, per the order, the federal government won’t do their part either. And a payroll tax cut, how does that benefit the people who are unemployed? People who are working do not need this extra money (of course, everyone ‘wants’ more), and it is not really a cut anyway, merely a deferral. If the cut is made permanent (which has a vanishingly small probability), it will either adversely affect social security, or further impact the federal budget deficit if the government decides to repay social security. The real problem here is Moscow Mitch opted not to take up the matter till late-July, then when the negotiations started, he opted to step aside and have the democrats negotiate with mark meadows, the former congressman who does not know the meaning of the word “negotiate”, only “no”. Wake up folks, you are watching bait and switch in action by your favorite people…

    • Joe Gilbertson

      The problem is that the democrats have purposely created a massively expensive bill containing funding for the liberal agenda for the next 10 years, knowing there is no way that the Republicans will allow it to pass.

      And of course, this means that all support to the people it is intended for will be delayed, which they hope to blame the republicans for. This is the meanest, most cynical strategy ever, to allow people to suffer for political gains.

      Fortunatly Trump has found a way to provide the benefits for the people by going around Congress, and Trump is daring them to challenge him. Master stroke on Trump’s part.

  4. Sheryl

    I find it I interesting that the Democratic party is the one offering free college, free medical, no rent, etc. to me AND illegal aliens once they are in total power, but they won’t vote to give me free money NOW because it would make the Republicans look good. That’s political theater!