President Donald Trump signed several executive orders over the weekend on coronavirus relief, taking action after Democrats and Republicans remained in extended negotiations over a second stimulus bill.
One order provides $400 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits, less than the $600 per week previously offered. Additionally, states are being asked to cover 25% of the benefit, or $100, and many states have said they cannot afford to do so.
Trump also signed an action for a payroll tax holiday which will "defer certain payroll tax obligations with respect to the American workers most in need," according to the White House. The order defers the withholding of Social Security payroll taxes.
He signed two more, one on housing, and another on student-loan payments. On evictions, Trump called on the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments to give financial assistance to struggling renters and homeowners, however, the executive orders did not reauthorize the eviction moratorium of the Cares Act. On student loan payments, Trump extended zero interest loans through the end of the virus crisis.
Experts note that Trump’s executive orders are legally dubious and politicians on both sides of the aisle have spoken out against the move.
Notably absent from his executive orders, however, are measures on a second round of stimulus checks, funding for schools, or assistance for small businesses, all of which Congress is currently discussing.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer called Trump's executive orders that call on assistance from states "a shame." He said, "We know that this is directed to punish the profligate states."
Markets were higher Monday morning on the news of President Trump's orders and despite intensifying tensions between the U.S. and China.
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