BEDMINSTER, N.J.— On the morning of Saturday, August 8 at his private country club, President Donald Trump signed four new executive orders that push to extend relief to the nation during the novel coronavirus including unemployment benefits and deferring taxes.
The Trump administration had enacted special monetary benefits for those who suffered unemployment due to the decline in the economy as a direct result of COVID-19, allowing those eligible to collect a sum of $400 a week from federal and state aids. Those benefits were set to expire on July 31. In the Presidential Actions of the new order, they state a total of nearly $3 trillion had been appropriated for emergency funding related to COVID-19 during that time.
The order further states: “To provide financial assistance for the needs of those who have lost employment as a result of the pandemic, I am directing up to $44 billion from the DRF at the statutorily mandated 75 percent Federal cost share be made available for lost wages assistance to eligible claimants, to supplement State expenditures in providing these payments. At least $25 billion of total DRF balances will be set aside to support ongoing disaster response and recovery efforts and potential 2020 major disaster costs.”
President Trump held a live news conference Saturday afternoon after signing the orders and said, “In the current negotiations, we have repeatedly stated our willingness to immediately sign legislation providing expanded unemployment benefits, protecting Americans from eviction and providing additional relief payments to families,” he said. “Democrats have refused these offers; they won’t negotiate, what they really want is bail out money for states that are run by Democrat governors and mayors.”
In a second memorandum concerning the deferment of taxes, it poses that: “The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to use his authority pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7508A to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of the tax imposed by 26 U.S.C. 3101(a), and so much of the tax imposed by 26 U.S.C. 3201 as is attributable to the rate in effect under 26 U.S.C. 3101(a), on wages or compensation, as applicable, paid during the period of September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.”
The proposal has two conditions: The deferral shall be made available with respect to any employee the amount of whose wages or compensation, as applicable, payable during any bi-weekly pay period generally is less than $4,000, calculated on a pre-tax basis, or the equivalent amount with respect to other pay periods, and amounts deferred pursuant to the implementation of this memorandum shall be deferred without any penalties, interest, additional amount, or addition to the tax.
The third executive order outlines the expiration of the CARES Act that allowed temporary bans on evictions and penalties due to certain conditions and states that the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development will work towards identifying any financial relief for renters and homeowners as well as working diligently on avoiding evictions and foreclosures.
The extension of student loan payment relief finalizes Trump’s last executive order. The order will allow “deferments to borrowers as necessary to continue the temporary cessation of payments and the waiver of all interest on student loans held by the Department of Education until December 31, 2020.” Any person still wanting to make payments can do so, but those who cannot will not be penalized.