President signs executive orders
(July 8) President Donald Trump signed four executive orders today as both houses of the United States Congress left their sessions yesterday, July 7, without an agreement to renew a COVID-19 stimulus relief bill or create another package after Republicans and Democrats could not reach a deal after two weeks of negotiations.
The president’s orders include: a projected $400 in enhanced individual unemployment benefits (previous benefits were $600), with states being required to cover a fourth of the cost; a payroll tax deferment through the end of the year for citizens earning less than $100,000 a year; an extension of the eviction moratorium; and deferring student loan payments.
According to news reports, it remains to be seen whether the president’s unilateral actions are legal. In addition, individual states might not have the funds to pay 25% of the unemployment benefits; and governors of those states might not agree to have their state pay a portion of the enhanced benefits, which were previously funded by the federal government.
National news outlets also expect members of Congress to challenge the orders of the president in court, which will delay the actions.
Following Friday’s inaction by Congress, millions of Americans were left without further aid as the coronavirus pandemic grows in this country and the economy is nearly frozen as a result, leaving those who once had jobs with limited income in which to survive.