UNITED STATES — President Donald J. Trump signed four executive actions extending coronavirus relief, he announced at a press conference in his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday, August 8.
The actions regarding evictions, unemployment benefits, student loans, and payroll taxes, came after the president did not reach an agreement on coronavirus pandemic relief with the U.S Congress.
In an executive order, Trump called for federal agencies to review resources that could temporarily assist renters and homeowners facing economic hardships related to COVID-19. He said he wanted to avoid residential evictions and foreclosures that, according to his statement, tend to affect minorities disproportionately.
Trump also extended the unemployment benefits, which expired on July 31, in a memorandum where he asked the states to cover 25% of the costs using funds including the coronavirus relief package. He said that the federal government would cover the remaining 75% of costs to pay $400 each week to unemployed workers.
In another memorandum, he ordered the Secretary of the Treasury to defer the payroll tax obligations for those who earn less than $100,000 yearly. The notice read that the deferment would be applicable from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
Additionally, the student loan payment relief which was introduced in March, 2020, was extended by President Trump on Saturday. Now, the relief defers payments and waives all interest on student loans until December 31, 2020.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement regarding the orders that President Trump signed. In it, they referred to the announcements as “meager” and said that these policies “provide little real help to families.”
In the release, Pelosi and Schumer asked Republican to negotiate policies for coronavirus relief again.
“Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people. Lives are being lost, and time is of the essence,” read their statement.