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Trump’s Attempt to Bypass Congress With Coronavirus Relief Executive Orders Falls Short

Trump’s Attempt to Bypass Congress With Coronavirus Relief Executive Orders Falls Short

President Donald Trump announced he would try to bypass Congress to issue coronavirus relief through executive action though the orders fall short of what lawmakers were negotiating and may be illegal, CNN reports.

Trump announced on Saturday he is signing executive orders to extend unemployment benefits and the eviction moratorium, provide debt relief to students, and defer the payroll tax. But the executive orders were not exactly what Trump said and may face a court challenge.

Unemployment:

Trump announced that the government would pay an extra $300 in federal unemployment if states pick up the tab for $100.

States would have to enter into an agreement with the feds in order to make the system work though Trump later claimed he would be open to covering the costs of states that don’t pay as well.

Many states need additional funding, which Trump and Senate Republicans have opposed.

Because Congress has not extended the benefit, states would also have to create a whole new system, which could take months.

Many people would also be excluded from the cut, like contractors and tipped workers, because it requires applicants to qualify for at least $100 from the state.

Evictions:

Trump’s order does not actually extend the eviction moratorium, which covered about 12 million households in federally-backed buildings.

The order only asks cabinet officials to consider whether “any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary to ‘prevent the further spread of COVID-19.’”

The order also calls on HUD to identify "any and all Federal funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners" who are "struggling" to pay.

It’s unclear how this would work or how long it would take.

Payroll tax:

Trump did not cut the payroll tax but rather deferred it, meaning employees would still be on the hook at the end of the year.

Members of both parties oppose a payroll tax cut.

Student loans:

This is the one executive order that may do what Trump said: extend the Education Department’s student debt relief granted under the CARES Act until the end of the year.

This one does not require any new funding.