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Rep. Pramila Jayapal: Trump's Coronavirus Relief Executive Orders Are Just a 'PR Stunt'

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Posted: Aug 10, 2020 7:00 PM
Rep. Pramila Jayapal: Trump's Coronavirus Relief Executive Orders Are Just a 'PR Stunt'

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) criticized President Trump for issuing several executive orders for coronavirus relief after negations broke down and compromises could not be made with Congressional Democrats, calling them a public relations stunt.

On Friday, Trump signed four executive orders:

  • Unemployment benefits are extended, but it 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.

Jayapal told MSNBC on Monday she believes the executive orders do not actually work.

"I don’t know if they’re going to be implemented, but even if they are, these were a P.R. stunt. Nothing more than a public relations stunt and a bad one at that," Jayapal said. "I mean, these executive orders, he does not continue the eviction on rent and mortgage assistance. He says maybe they should be considered as continuing the eviction moratorium. He says that he’s increasing or he’s continuing unemployment benefits, but he’s actually slashing them in half because he’s asking for states who have no money to participate in giving even less unemployment than what was assured before to people."

"And, to me, what’s horrifying is he’s thinking about which battlefield to deliver his acceptance nomination speech, but we have the battlefield of coronavirus right here in America," she said, referring to Trump considering accepting the Republican nomination at the Gettysburg battlefield.

"And these executive orders do nothing to put money in people’s pockets to help deal with the testing and contact tracing. You mentioned the statistics for New Zealand. They took immediate action. We in the United States of America have shown no leadership because this president refuses to admit that this is a real thing. Now we surpassed 5 million cases, 3.5 million in the 12 weeks since the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act. 163,000 deaths of Americans. And I just think it’s disgraceful because there is no relief and my constituents are desperate," she added.