President Trump Announces a Coronavirus Relief Executive Order; UPDATE: Trump Signs Four EOs

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Posted: Aug 08, 2020 9:50 AM
President Trump Announces a Coronavirus Relief Executive Order; UPDATE: Trump Signs Four EOs

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

UPDATE (4:50 p.m. EST): 

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive orders. 

Under his EO, unemployment benefits are extended. The amount, however, has dropped to $400 a week.

Payroll tax cuts will go into effect on Sept. 1 for those making $100,000 or less. Trump vowed to make this permanent if he's re-elected. 

Student loan payments are suspended through the end of the year. Interest rates will remain at zero percent. 

The housing moratorium has also been extended, protecting renters from being evicted.

ORIGINAL POST

President Donald Trump on Friday said he would be signing an executive order related to the Wuhan coronavirus sometime this week. The order will extend unemployment benefits and student loan deferment to the end of the year. Businesses will also see a payroll tax cut until the end of 2020.

"We're going to have the payroll tax go 'til the end of the year and it'll be retroactive to July 1st. So we're going to go back to July 1st. It'll go to the end of the year, payroll tax. At the end of the year, it may be extended," he explained. 

"We're going to enhance unemployment benefits through the end of the year so unemployment benefits will be – that's a big one – will be brought out to the end of the year and defer student loan payments and forgive student loan interest until further notice," the president said. "So students who are paying student loans, and in many cases they're not even allowed to go back into their colleges."

Trump said the executive order will also extend the eviction moratorium. 

Trump's decision to sign an executive order comes as talks about another Wuhan coronavirus relief package came to a halt in Congress. One of the major points of contention for Democrats and Republicans is unemployment benefits. When the pandemic began, Americans were given $600 a week in unemployment, something Democrats want to keep in place. The GOP, on the other hand, wants to see unemployment benefits drop to $400 a week. The idea is that cutting back unemployment benefits will encourage Americans to get back to work. Some workers were making more in unemployment benefits than they were at their jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said earlier this week he's open to supporting the $600 unemployment benefits extension in the next relief package as long as President Trump also supported the move.

"Wherever this thing settles between the president of the United States and his team that has to sign it into law, and the Democrats, a not-insignificant-minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something I'm prepared to support," McConnell said. "Even if I have some problems with certain parts of it."

"We know this is going to be a negotiated settlement," McConnell said. "It's not going to produce a kumbaya moment like we had back in March and April where everybody voted aye. But the American people, in the end, need help."