Trump signs executive orders to deliver economic relief from COVID-19 pandemic, bypasses Congress

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President Donald Trump didn’t wait for Congress to provide economic relief for Americans struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump bypassed Congress, and signed four executive orders on Saturday that deliver support to Americans, including a $400-per-week supplemental unemployment payment, an extension of student loan relief, eviction protection, and a payroll tax holiday.

Americans who are currently out of work will be eligible to receive a new $400-a-week unemployment benefit. The federal government will pay for $300, and states will be responsible for $100. Previously, there was a $600 bonus until it expired last week. Many Republicans argued that extra money disincentivized people from going back to work.

The president said the new rate gives Americans “a great incentive to go back to work.”

“So that’s generous, but we want to take care of our people,” Trump said. “Again, it wasn’t their fault, it was China’s fault.”

At Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey, the president announced that student loan payments could be deferred through the end of the year.

Trump also signed an executive order that defers payroll taxes through the end of the year to Americans earning less than $100,000. Trump also promised more tax relief if he wins re-election.

“If I’m victorious on November 3rd, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax,” Trump declared. “Joe Biden and the Democrats may not want that, they don’t want that.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer were negotiating with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all week, but the parties couldn’t hammer out a deal.

Trump said “Democrats are obstructing” a COVID-19 relief bill, he added, “Therefore I’m taking executive action … and we’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers.”

“We’re doing that without the Democrats,” Trump added. “We should have been able to do it very easily with them, but they want all these additional things that have nothing to do with helping people.”

On Friday, Trump said that he would take action after Congress failed to roll out a coronavirus relief bill.

“If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage, I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief they need,” Trump said at a press conference.