News and Commentary

Trump’s Actions To Provide Relief To Americans ‘Expected To Face Legal Challenges From Democrats,’ Report Says
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, (R) speaks to the media, flanked by US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, after meeting with the White House Chief of Staff and the US Treasury Secretary on coronavirus relief at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on August 7, 2020. - Democrats urged the White House to stick with negotiations on a new aid plan for Americans facing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, after Donald Trump said he is ready to bypass Congress to maintain emergency assistance.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump signed four executive actions on Saturday to provide relief to Americans amid continued fallout from the coronavirus pandemic as talks with Democrats continued to stall, and now Democrats are reportedly expected to challenge Trump’s actions.

According to Axios, the four actions that Trump signed did the following:

  1. Defer payroll taxes for Americans earning less than $100,000 a year.
  2. Implement a moratorium on evictions and give financial assistance to renters.
  3. Add $400 per week in extra unemployment benefits through the end of 2020, requiring states to cover 25% of the additional benefits.
  4. Postpone student loan interest and payments through the end of 2020.

Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden attacked Trump for taking unilateral action to help the American people during the pandemic, saying, “This is not presidential leadership. These orders are not real solutions.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that Trump’s actions “are expected to face legal challenges from Democrats that could blunt their impact.”

A reporter asked Trump during a press conference about expecting to face legal challenges from Democrats to his executive actions, to which Trump responded, “I guess maybe they will bring legal actions or maybe they won’t but they won’t win.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responded to the news by writing on Twitter, “Pelosi & Schumer held up relief for the American people because they wanted a liberal wishlist that talks more about ‘cannabis’ than a ‘job.’ Today President Trump took action to make up for Democrats’ failures. He stepped up to deliver targeted relief to the American people.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to the news by writing in a statement:

Struggling Americans need action now. Since Democrats have sabotaged backroom talks with absurd demands that would not help working people, I support President Trump exploring his options to get unemployment benefits and other relief to the people who need them the most.

Before the jobless benefits expired, Senate Republicans tried several times to extend them while talks continued. But Leader Schumer declared that nobody could get help unless all of Democrats’ demands were met.

Then the President’s team worked hard to bridge differences on many of the policies that would rapidly help American families — money to safely re-open schools, money for testing, more direct payments for households, another round of the PPP, legal protections, and more. But Democrats have continued to block all of it while holding out for non-COVID-related liberal demands like a huge tax cut for rich people in blue states and a massive slush fund for state and local governments that is many times the size of the actual coronavirus shortfall they are projected to face.

Weeks ago, some predicted that Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer might actually prefer if the American people received no further bipartisan aid before the election. Sadly, they have done nothing to suggest otherwise.

I am glad that President Trump is proving that while Democrats use laid-off workers as political pawns, Republicans will actually look out for them.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer responded to the news by writing in a statement:

Today’s meager announcements by the President show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families. We’re disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, the President instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security and Medicare.

These policy announcements provide little real help to families. For instance, not only does the President’s announcement not actually extend the eviction moratorium, it provides no assistance to help pay the rent, which will only leave desperate families to watch their debt pile higher. Instead of passing a bill, now President Trump is cutting families’ unemployment benefits and pushing states further into budget crises, forcing them to make devastating cuts to life-or-death services.

Furthermore, these announcements do nothing to increase testing, nothing to reopen schools, nothing to put food on the table for hungry families, nothing to prevent heroes being laid off across state and local government, nothing to protect the Postal Service or the integrity of our elections, nothing on many critical needs of the American people.

Since the House passed The Heroes Act twelve weeks ago, more than 3.5 million Americans have become infected and 70,000 have tragically died. The coronavirus is moving through our country like a runaway freight train and the economy is quickly running out of steam. The only solution to crush the virus and protect working families is to pass a comprehensive bill that is equal to the historic health and economic catastrophe facing our country.

Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people. Lives are being lost, and time is of the essence.

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