Trump acted unconstitutionally again, when he signed executive orders (EOs) on four coronavirus relief measures after Congress failed to agree on 4th stimulus bill. Even if the EOs are likely to be challenged in courts, Trump signed the directives, whilst calling them “bills” which were hardly reflections of real concerns for the American people.
What Trump Orders as Economic Relief
The Executive Order Trump signed last Saturday (August 08, 2020) addressed only four major issues.
On the $600 Coronavirus Relief Paycheck That Expired Last July 31, 2020
While the Democrats want to extend the economic relief paycheck at the same amount of $600 ($150/week), the Republicans want to cut it down to $400. Trump’s memorandum reduces the $400 further, as the directive was to allocate the funds as aid for both the states and their people. The state government will receive $100 out of every $400 of the fund allotted as coronavirus relief. This means that Americans can expect to receive only $300 per month or ($75/week).
On the Eviction Moratorium That Expired Last July 24, 2020
On the matter of the expired eviction moratorium, the Democrats are negotiating for additional financial assistance to renters on top of the extension of the eviction moratorium. The Republicans in Congress simply suggest for an extension up to December 31, 2020. However, Trump’s memorandum does not make any mention of extending the moratorium; but only reiterates federal policy that recommends minimizing eviction proceedings on renters during the ongoing pandemic, Trump’s memorandum merely suggests that government officials should identify legal ways of helping renters and homeowners.
Suspension of Payroll Tax
Trump’s EO includes a memorandum suspending payroll tax effective August 01, 2020, which only means deferment of taxes; perhaps until Trump gets himself re-elected. Although Trump made hints that he will make permanent the suspension of payroll tax if he stays on as president, doing so would only mean a reduction of Social Security funds, which is tantamount to a reduction of benefits derived from the system.
Pause on Student Debt Payment and Accrual of Interests
As far as federal student loans are concerned, Trump’s order is aligned with bipartisan support for the extension of suspending collections and accrual of interest on student debts for another three months. Since the pause on student loans under the CARES Act is set to expire on September 30, 2021, it means student loan borrowers will resume making payments in January 2021.
However, it seems that the pause on payments and accrual of interest applies only to federally-backed student loans, which denotes that Trump’s memorandum has no provision for students debts obtained from private lenders.