DEMOCRATS like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi were quick to denounce President Donald Trump’s new coronavirus relief executive orders as “reckless.”
When the president announced four executive orders in a news conference from his golf club in New Jersey on Saturday, he said that if Democrats attempt to sue him over the move, they “won’t win.”
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The orders Trump signed Saturday, attempting to bypass Congress, include payroll tax cuts, eviction protections, an extended unemployment benefit of an extra $400 per week and an extended postponement of student loan payments and interest.
The move comes after Democrats and Republicans in Congress refused to come to an agreement on another stimulus package to provide economic aid to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
Likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called the payroll tax cuts “a reckless war on Social Security.”
“Trump announced a payroll tax plan with no protections or guarantees – like the ones the Obama-Biden administration enforced a decade ago – that the Social Security Trust Fund will be made whole,” Biden said in a statement.
“He is laying out his roadmap to cutting Social Security. Our seniors and millions of Americans with disabilities are under enough stress without Trump putting their hard-earned Social Security benefits in doubt.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also knocked the president’s plans, saying they show he clearly has no grasp on the seriousness of the situation.
“Today’s meager announcements show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crisis facing working families,” she wrote on Twitter.
“These policies provide little real help for families,” she added.
Pelosi also put out a joint statement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, where they both expressed their disappointment with Saturday’s announcement.
“We’re disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, the President instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security and Medicare,” the statement says.
During his Saturday announcement, the president said that he was signing executive orders because Congressional Democrats were holding another coronavirus relief package “hostage.”
Trump claimed that Democrats wanted to include provisions in the package that had “nothing to do with” the coronavirus, including requiring states to allow mail-in voting for the November election and providing stimulus checks to undocumented immigrants.
The president claimed Pelosi and Schumer really want “bail out money” for Democratic states that have been “poorly” governed.
Pelosi and Schumer met with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Friday, in an attempt to reach an agreement – but there were apparently some lingering issues.
Democrats and Republicans reportedly could not come to an agreement on enhanced unemployment benefits and aid to state and local governments.
Democrats wanted to extend the additional $600 per week unemployment benefit – which was passed earlier this year but expired at the end of July – until the end of the year.
Under Trump’s executive order, the benefit will be extended, but will be reduced to $400 per week.
Trump called the extra $400 per week “generous,” saying “we want to take care of our people.”
He said states will handle 25 percent of the cost for the unemployment benefit, while the federal government will pay for 75 percent.