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Trump bypasses Congress and hands out $400 per week in additional unemployment benefits as part of his COVID executive order and signs a payroll tax holiday for those on less than $100K

  • President Donald Trump signed four executive orders during a press conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday
  • It came after his administration's talks with congressional lawmakers about coronavirus aid broke down in recent days   
  • Trump took aim directly at Democrats, accusing them of 'holding aid hostage'
  • 'Many of the far-left policies they're pushing have nothing to do with the corona,' he said of Democrats' $2trillion relief plan 

President Donald Trump is moving to suspend payroll taxes and extend expired unemployment benefits after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.
Trump signed four executive orders related to what he called 'China virus relief' during a press conference at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday afternoon. 
It came hours after the White House signaled that Washington's gridlock had compelled him to act as the pandemic undermined the country's economy and the November election nears.

Trump had threatened to bypass elected lawmakers during a briefing on Friday night, saying: 'If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief they need.' 

The president turned his official event on Saturday into a semi-political rally, launching broadsides against Democratic rival Joe Biden and the news media as members of his Bedminster golf club laughed at his attack lines. 

Doubling down on his strikes against congressional Democrats, Trump accused them of blocking a resolution because they want 'bailout money for states that have been badly managed for many years'. 

'Many of the far-left policies they're pushing have nothing to do with the corona,' Trump said.

President Donald Trump signed four executive orders to suspend payroll taxes and extend expired unemployment benefits after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed. Trump is pictured at a press conference announcing the orders on Saturday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey

President Donald Trump signed four executive orders to suspend payroll taxes and extend expired unemployment benefits after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed. Trump is pictured at a press conference announcing the orders on Saturday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey 

Trump first announced an order that would allow employers to defer payroll tax through the end of the year. 

It's unclear whether he has legal authority to do so, given that the constitution gives Congress the power to control taxes.  

The second order included a freeze on evictions that will allow hard-hit renters to remain in their homes even if they can't afford payments. 

A third order, perhaps the most crucial, will extend the unemployment benefits that have run out, offering people an additional $400 per week - down from the $600 that was offered under the initial benefits plan. 

Trump remarked that there should never have been an issue in coming to a benefits deal with Democrats, who had wanted to renew the original $600 a week. 

Republicans originally proposed $200 a week and then upped their offer to $400, but Democrats still said it wasn't enough. This was one of the major areas of difference that held up getting a legislative deal. 

Asked if the reduction in supplemental benefits to $400 would be a 'hardship' for the millions currently eligible, Trump replied: 'Well no, it's not a hardship, this is the money that they need this is the money they want and this gives them a great incentive to go back to work.' 

'And as you know they were different there was difficulty with the $600 number, because it really was a disincentive,' he added, referring to the fact that the $600 federal supplement put total average unemployment benefits higher than the average wages in more than 30 states. 

The fourth and final order will extend the suspension of student loan payments through the end of the year.  

Of the new orders, Trump said: 'We didn't think we would have to [take executive action] but Democrats have been unreasonable. Not just unreasonable, ridiculous.' 

Trump is seen signing the first of his four executive orders as supporters cheered on Saturday
The president proudly showed off his signature before briefly taking reporters' questions

Up until now, Trump has largely stayed on the sidelines during his administration's negotiations with congressional leaders. 

The talks, which broke down in recent days, were led on his side by chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Democrats had said they would lower their spending demands from $3.4trillion to $2trillion but said the White House needed to increase their offer. Republicans have proposed a $1trillion plan. 

White House aides have watched the talks break down with apprehension, fearful that failure to close a deal could further damage an economic recovery already showing signs of slowing down. 

Friday's jobs report, though it beat expectations, was smaller than the past two months, in part because a resurgence of the virus has led to states rolling back their reopenings.

The president's team believes the economy needs to stabilize and show signs of growth for him to have any chance at winning reelection. 

Aides were hoping to frame the expected executive orders signings as a sign that Trump was taking action in a time of crisis. 

But it also would reinforce the view that the president, who took office declaring he was a dealmaker, was unable to steer the process to an agreement.

Also, the anticipated orders would be smaller in scope than congressional legislation.

'This is not a perfect answer - we´ll be the first ones to say that,' Meadows said Friday as talks broke down. 

'But it is all that we can do and all the president can do within the confines of his executive power, and we´re going to encourage him to do it.'

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (right) walk to speak to reporters after Friday meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer as they continue to negotiate a coronavirus relief deal

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (right) walk to speak to reporters after Friday meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer as they continue to negotiate a coronavirus relief deal

Trump has not specified how the payroll tax deferral would work, and it was unclear whether he had the authority to take such an action without approval from Congress.

The move would not aid unemployed workers, who do not pay the tax when they are jobless, and would face bipartisan opposition in Congress. 

The cut, long a Trump wish, would affect payroll taxes that are intended to cover Medicare and Social Security benefits and take 7 percent of an employee´s income. Employers also pay 7.65 percent of their payrolls into the funds.

Both the House and Senate have left Washington, with members sent home on instructions to be ready to return for a vote on an agreement. 

With no deal in sight, their absence raised the possibility of a prolonged stalemate that stretches well into August and even September.

Often an impasse in Washington is of little consequence for the public - but not so this time. 

It would mean more hardship for millions of people who are losing enhanced jobless benefits and further damage for an economy pummeled by the still-raging coronavirus.

Friday´s negotiations at the Capitol added up to only 'a disappointing meeting,' said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York. 

He said the White House had rejected an offer by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D - California) to curb Democratic demands by about $1trillion. 

Schumer urged the White House to 'negotiate with Democrats and meet us in the middle. Don't say it's your way or no way.'

That Capitol Hill session followed a combative meeting Thursday evening that for the first time cast real doubt on the ability of the Trump administration and Democrats to come together on a fifth COVID-19 response bill.

Pelosi declared the talks all but dead until Meadows and Mnuchin give ground.

The breakdown in the negotiations is particularly distressing for schools, which have been counting on billions of dollars from Washington to help with the costs of reopening. 

But other priorities are also languishing, including a fresh round of $1,200 direct payments to most people, a cash infusion for the struggling Postal Service and money to help states hold elections in November.

Mnuchin said renewal of a $600 per-week pandemic jobless boost and huge demands by Democrats for aid to state and local governments are the key areas where they are stuck.

Democrats have offered to reduce her almost $1trillion demand for state and local governments considerably, but some of Pelosi's proposed cost savings would accrue chiefly because she would shorten the timeframe for benefits like food stamps.

Pelosi and Schumer continue to insist on a huge aid package to address a surge in cases and deaths, double-digit joblessness and the threat of poverty for millions of the newly unemployed.

Senate Republicans have been split, with roughly half of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's rank and file opposed to another rescue bill at all. 

Four prior coronavirus response bills totaling almost $3trillion have won approval on bipartisan votes despite intense wrangling, but conservatives have recoiled at the prospect of another Pelosi-brokered agreement with a whopping deficit-financed cost.

McConnell has kept his distance from the negotiations while coordinating with Mnuchin and Meadows.

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Comment by Bombahdrop on August 12, 2020 at 7:58am

All I know is that this Kung f* virus is a crime against humanity mankind we should all be owning the government for this atrocity. We should all be paid and full, and in a timely fashion, For as long as we are forced to wear a stupid rag on our faces, being restricted from occupying public spaces, forced to quarantine and stay distant from our fellow man. if they want us to comply with the governments demands then we have to force the government for our reperations because this is a crime and the government needs to be held accountable and penalized.  

Comment by mr1stroke on August 10, 2020 at 1:05am
dolina duzzant im really not concern about what your opinions are, you are within your rights to exercise what ever you believe in, whether its you or another no one here can influence what i stand for, i have been on here long enough to see how the majority thinks, so if its working for you and the rest be happy and by pass me, as for me i am on here to express my opinion like every one else, if i disagree unless its someone i interact with i by pass the comment, its a waste of time to even have a discussion on here, every one thinks the rest of us should think like that, if not we should die, so whats the point, i really dont respect the majority on here who feels they can come at me because of my belief, o wish them death too, i dont believe in forgiveness
Comment by dolina duzzant on August 9, 2020 at 7:51pm

Mr1Stroke, I did not call you out your name or use any profanity when commenting on your comment.  I am far from being ignorant and understanding more than what you give me credit for but that is Okay because you missed the whole point of what I was saying.  That is Okay.  Have a great life and how you measure success is you and may you continue to have much success. 

Comment by mr1stroke on August 9, 2020 at 5:01pm
The messed up part i was reading the report and watch part of the coverage on bbc international, the republicans told the democrats knock down everything that they dont agree with to 2 trillions, after that they will pass a bill and after recess they will work on the rest, but no f***** ass schumer and pelosi did not agree because they didnt have nothing to do with the first package if they dont pass something they will lose vote, thats all they worry about, they dont care about no one else but power, and they come and lie because the niggers they are lying to will believe anything they say, they wont read or research and they will run with the same thing, i laugh at these niggers all the time its a damn shame
Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on August 9, 2020 at 4:33pm

I agree with the President 100%.  These Erectile Dysfunctionals cannot get it up to 2 Trillion, even though the other side EDs came down from 3 Trillion to 2  Trillion.

Comment by mr1stroke on August 9, 2020 at 12:28pm
dolina duzzant ok can you address what exactly my comment is not about, also i have been involve in the family business since i was 21 and went into business for my self since 26, i expanded from different businesses and keep adding up i have yet to fail, so thank you for your well hateful wishes since i have my own my mind and opinion

I am a normal person and a small business owner i dont get no stimulus except i am taking advantage of whats out there because i use my brain, so if you worked most of your life or own a small business and 3 months of crisis got you seeking hand out seems like you were already failing, its not because of the pandemic, which is a wake up call for many, but 90% of the public will never learned, poverty is a business on this earth, i see people sitting in bemz and BMW or other luxury cars in line at the food pantry waiting for free grocery, so let me guess they can afford those car notes but cant put food om the table, that is a successful thinking, too bad i cant live my life like that, i like to call my own shots and eat what i want when i want

My comment was for those ignorant niggers who keeps repeating what those dumb democrats tell them to say, the president is this and that, he is a racist but will not take advantage of what ever policies seem to work for the average men, they rather sound dumb and live in poverty instead of taking a chance, whether its you or another who wants to be mad or disagree, you cant prove me wrong, in fact your comment is a perfect example, if he is so racist why is every one waiting for him to sign this order since their little $600 is gone, i state facts not on here to criticise
Comment by dolina duzzant on August 9, 2020 at 12:08pm

To Mr1stroke: That is not the point of the executive orders, it is so regular people like myself, small businesses, etc. can have food, shelter, and clothing while in this pandemic.  It's not about what you have acquired.  Yes, I know you worked hard to have what you have, but if that is all you were working for, dang !vyou have no business ethic and you will fail all the time.  

Comment by mr1stroke on August 9, 2020 at 2:07am
Oh no he is racist, he dont care about the working people, except that the first package he was the one who suggested and made sure he signed it as soon as it came and told the senate not to fight it, not congress that is why they want to pass a package so bad, and the president want to give money back this time to the working people with the payroll tax instead of paying to stay home, he will also take executive order not to pay it back as part of your income next year if he wins, ok let see first he gave relief to small businesses with the pay check protection now the working class including the unemployed, by the way you cant blame him how the money have been distributed it was up to the sba and the irs, my business was qualify for up to $250k if i need it, i took 2 installments i have until december 31rst to request anything more, ill have year off before repaying what ever amount is not forgiving, and they wonder why some of us are in favor of Trump, well guess what i had to learn how to speak the same language as corporate America, they understand money, success and achievement, look at my life now, my drive way has 2 entrances, inside the garage I have one classic 1949 Cadillac and a SL550 convertible that i only take out on special occasion with a cigar in my mouth, plus 3 other vehicles i used for business and personal so how many cars do i own that are paid for?

in the mean time you screaming the president is a racist while youre supporting an under cover racist political party, but what kind of lifestyle are you living, i hope you are comfortable and will survive next year when the other part of the crisis gets here, you have seen nothing yet, i warned you about the first and you said i was crazy, read my past comments, but i made more money in 3 months than i made last year if only i can show you the numbers, i made more investments this year that will set me straight for the next 20 years if i ever face any financial problem, i hope you can say the same being against him, its good to have a mind of your own
Comment by dolina duzzant on August 8, 2020 at 10:53pm

The Executive Orders especially the one that suspense student loans until the end of the year will save me $500 a month :).  I work so unemployment benefits are good for some, payroll taxes would be great but no big deal right now I am still waiting for that extra stimulus

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