TRUMP EXTENDS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Bypassing Congress, President Donald Trump on Saturday signed executive orders deferring payroll taxes for some Americans and extending unemployment benefits after negotiations on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed, KCRA 3 News reported.
At his private country club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump signed four executive orders to act where Congress hasn't, contending Washington's gridlock had compelled him to act as the pandemic undermined the country's economy.
Trump said the payroll tax cut would apply to those earning less than $100,000 a year. He said that if he is reelected in November, he would look at the possibility of making the payroll tax permanent.
Trump said the employer portion of the payroll tax would be deferred from Aug. 1 through the end of the year, though the move would not directly aid unemployed workers, who do not pay the tax when they are jobless, and faces bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill.
Trump also moved to continue paying a supplemental federal unemployment benefit for millions of Americans out of work during the outbreak. Congress allowed those payments to lapse on Aug. 1.
Extra aid for the unemployed will total $400 a week, a cut from the $600 that just expired. He said states will be asked to contribute 25% of that new amount.
“It's $400 a week, and we're doing it without the Democrats,” Trump said, asking states to cover 25% of the cost. It was not immediately clear where the federal portion would come from — though the president suggested he was looking to use unspent funds from previous coronavirus relief bills — and Trump said it would be up to states to determine how much, if any of it to fund.
Trump also signed executive orders holding off student loan payments and extending the freeze on evictions.
The president also spoke Friday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to talk about the country's response to the coronavirus, the economy and the tragedy in Beirut.