NEW JERSEY—President Trump signed four executive orders on Saturday, August 8, to provide economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. The orders include extending unemployment benefits, preventing evictions, extending student loan relief and payroll tax cuts.
Trump signed the orders at his private country club in Bedminster, New Jersey, a day after Congressional Democrats and White House officials failed to reach an agreement over COVID-19 relief legislation.
The order aims to continuously provide weekly unemployment benefits, which previously expired on July 31. The benefit was adjusted from $600 to $400 a week, and states are expected to fund 25% of it.
Trump also signed an executive order that provides payroll tax holiday to Americans earning less than $100,000 per year. He emphasized that it’s possible to have a permanent cut to the payroll tax if he wins the election this year.
The executive order regarding the housing policy makes sure renters and homeowners can stay in their places and protects them from eviction. Trump said he also signed a relief to extend the student loan benefits contained in the Cares Act to the end of the year.
“We are going to be looking at capital gains for the purpose of creating jobs and income taxes is self-explanatory, and it will be income tax for middle income and lower-income people but middle-income people who pay a lot of income tax, you do have tax inequality. I’m saying that as a Republican, and you do have tax inequality,” Trump said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer blamed Trump and Republicans have done “unworkable, weak, and narrow executive orders that barely scratch the surface of what is needed to defeat the virus and help struggling Americans.”
Trump criticized the Democrats’ $3 trillion proposal as a “radical left policy” and said that Democrats were trying to “steal the election” by including election provisions in their bill.