News

Politics & Policy

Trump Threatens Executive Action on Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Benefits if Congress Fails to Pass COVID Relief Bill

President Trump addresses supporters on the airport tarmac in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2020. (Joshua Robert/Reuters)

President Trump indicated he would sign executive orders on Friday or Saturday that would extend unemployment benefits and institute a payroll tax holiday, amid continuing deadlock in Congress over coronavirus economic relief.

Trump also told reporters on Thursday that he was looking into extending a federal moratorium on evictions as well as unspecified student debt relief. If signed, the orders would set up a legal fight over the president’s authority to institute the measures. The payroll tax would likely be illegal, since Congress is the only branch of government that has the authority to make tax cuts.

“For tax policy to make a big difference it’s got to be long term,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) said of Trump’s comments. “I’m not going to advise anything until I find out whether he thinks he’s got the legal authority to do it.”

Grassley added, “I assume [Trump is] contemplating it to send a signal that he is sick and tired that Democrats are not negotiating,” and that Trump may not be serious about signing the orders.

Congress has not been able to agree on a new round of legislation to provide economic relief from the effects of the pandemic.

Senate Republicans have offered legislation amounting to roughly $1 trillion in aid, including new loans for small businesses and an additional round of stimulus checks to Americans.

House Democrats are demanding an extension of $600-per-week enhanced federal unemployment benefits, along with additional aid that gives their legislation a $3 trillion price tag.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Media

How American Journalism Died

In 2017, the liberal Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University found that 93 percent of CNN’s coverage of the Trump administration was negative. The center found similarly negative Trump coverage at other major news outlets. The election year 2020 has only accelerated ... Read More
Media

How American Journalism Died

In 2017, the liberal Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University found that 93 percent of CNN’s coverage of the Trump administration was negative. The center found similarly negative Trump coverage at other major news outlets. The election year 2020 has only accelerated ... Read More
U.S.

Zoomers and the Constitution

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center compared generational views on key social and political issues, focusing on the similarities between Millennials and Generation Z. The topics probed include race relations, diversity, climate change, capitalism, socialism, and the role of government. This last item, ... Read More
U.S.

Zoomers and the Constitution

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center compared generational views on key social and political issues, focusing on the similarities between Millennials and Generation Z. The topics probed include race relations, diversity, climate change, capitalism, socialism, and the role of government. This last item, ... Read More
Elections

Is the Biden Campaign Struggling?

On the menu today: a long, long list of Democrats warning that the Biden campaign may not be as strong as it looks in key states and among key demographics; another former White House staffer comes out and denounces the president, offering a hard lesson about how personnel is policy; and a long look at the ... Read More
Elections

Is the Biden Campaign Struggling?

On the menu today: a long, long list of Democrats warning that the Biden campaign may not be as strong as it looks in key states and among key demographics; another former White House staffer comes out and denounces the president, offering a hard lesson about how personnel is policy; and a long look at the ... Read More

The Last Days of Robin Williams

After Robin Williams hanged himself in 2014, the media speculated that financial troubles or depression related to drug or alcohol use might have been the cause. Without discussing those topics, Williams’s widow, Susan Schneider Williams, is eager to set the record straight and does so in Robin’s Wish, a ... Read More

The Last Days of Robin Williams

After Robin Williams hanged himself in 2014, the media speculated that financial troubles or depression related to drug or alcohol use might have been the cause. Without discussing those topics, Williams’s widow, Susan Schneider Williams, is eager to set the record straight and does so in Robin’s Wish, a ... Read More

In Praise of Trade School

About a decade ago, I participated in a discussion hosted by the chamber of commerce in a university town about state policies regarding higher education. I’ll never forget the first comment I got from one of the attendees. “The problem with your presentation,” she said, “is that it didn’t focus ... Read More

In Praise of Trade School

About a decade ago, I participated in a discussion hosted by the chamber of commerce in a university town about state policies regarding higher education. I’ll never forget the first comment I got from one of the attendees. “The problem with your presentation,” she said, “is that it didn’t focus ... Read More
World

Why Trump’s Mideast Peace Deals Matter

After Israel’s resounding victory over the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies in 1967, the Jewish state again offered the Arab world peace in exchange for recognition. And it was again rebuffed. Instead, the Arab League convened in Khartoum to formulate a consensus response that became known as “The 3 ... Read More
World

Why Trump’s Mideast Peace Deals Matter

After Israel’s resounding victory over the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies in 1967, the Jewish state again offered the Arab world peace in exchange for recognition. And it was again rebuffed. Instead, the Arab League convened in Khartoum to formulate a consensus response that became known as “The 3 ... Read More