President Lays Out Planned Executive Order After Stimulus Talks Fail

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has laid out the executive actions he said he would pursue if Congress does not reach a COVID-19 relief deal.

Negotiations over the next stimulus package intended to bolster the economy and help struggling Americans pay their bills have stalled on Capitol Hill on Friday.

At a hastily scheduled news conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club Friday evening, the President spoke to the media.

He says the actions would include a payroll tax deferment, extending unemployment benefits, extending an eviction moratorium and deferring student loan payments and forgiving their interest.

“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.

A White House official said that Trump was not expected to sign any executive orders immediately on Friday night.

“They’re being drawn by the lawyers right now,” Trump said.

Trump said “they’re talking about” deferring the payroll tax until the end of the year. “And I can extend it at a certain period … and it will be retroactive until July 1,” he said. “I’m going to enhance unemployment benefits through the end of the year,” he added, without specifying any amount.

But the executive orders are expected to meet fierce resistance from Democrats who plan to challenge them in court. Democrats warn that executive action taken will be insufficient to address the extent of the economic and public health crisis faced by Americans during the pandemic.

The lack of progress Friday followed a familiar pattern for negotiators who, despite roughly 20 hours of meetings, have struggled to agree even on the scope of the problem at hand. Now, Democrats and Republicans will have to make their arguments to an American public demanding more relief just three months from an election.

No additional discussions are planned after nearly two weeks of daily meetings, and lead White House negotiators Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said they were recommending Trump move ahead with a series of executive orders.


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