Nancy Pelosi Calls Trump Executive Orders "Unconstitutional Slop"

Marco Green
August 11, 2020

Trump acknowledged he's still quite open to a deal with Congress, offering an invitation for the Democratic leaders to give him a call. Democrats called it a pre-election ploy that would burden cash-strapped states.

The order extends additional unemployment payments of $400 a week to help cushion the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The executive order says part of the money will come from the federal level and the state will have to pay the other part. With Republicans again balking at big government bailouts, Democratic leaders believe they have the leverage, forcing President Donald Trump into a politically risky standoff over help for millions of Americans.

Though certain to further strain relations with Congress, which has the power to set the U.S. government's budget, the moves were framed by the White House as the president breaking through the Washington gridlock in order to directly distribute aid. On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said NY didn't have the money to do so.

"A lot of it was just really a line in the sand that says here are the things that are the priority that I want the American people to know are coming to them".

But Democrats have dismissed Trump's executive order as a hollow political gesture - not to mention legally questionable - that could ultimately leave millions of Americans without much-needed aid.

Democratic governors said Trump was attempting to skate around the hard work of negotiating - something the president as a candidate touted as a natural skill from his real estate career.

© Provided by New York Daily News US President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 10. He said decisions would be made on a state-by-state basis.

Trump said earlier that the federal contribution would be redirected from disaster relief money at the Federal Emergency Management Agency - dollars not likely to last more than two months. "I think this will be content in the new stimulus", Eliason said.

Shifting FEMA disaster funds also would occur as the peak of hurricane season looms, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns of an "extremely active" season already under way. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $100 share from states would come from from an earlier pool of federal money and that Trump may waive the requirement about how it can be used.

"We're digging in on that issue", said Kemp, who said his office is in talks with Georgia's labor department and budget planning office.

Trump also acted to defer payment of the payroll tax, a long-pushed goal that had little support from either party on Capitol Hill, and federal student loans.

In addition, Trump deferred the payroll tax from September 1 to December 31, 2020, for employees making $100,000 or less a year.

Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation and an expert on unemployment aid, said that it could take several weeks for jobless claimants to see the enhanced benefit given the states' difficulties in updating their unemployment systems. The money would need to be paid back eventually unless Congress acts to write off the deferred taxes.

Mr Biden, President Trump's rival in the November election, accused him of putting Social Security "at grave risk" by delaying the collection of payroll taxes, and called the measures "another cynical ploy created to deflect responsibility". Democrats seized on the possible threat to Social Security as a signal that Trump wanted to cut the social safety net.

As the talks collapsed last week, Schumer and Pelosi said Democrats were willing to cut $1 trillion from their original demand for White House approval of the $3.4 trillion coronavirus aid package approved by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in mid-May.

"This is not presidential leadership", Biden said.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, said the orders "appear to subordinate real relief for unemployed Americans to partisan gamesmanship, making Maine families a pawn in a cruel political game".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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