Trump Coronavirus Relief Could Undermine Work Of Senate Republicans

The Dallas Morning News’ Washington bureau chief says there’s a “very large gap between what he said what he was going to do and what the executive orders do.”

By Rhonda FanningAugust 10, 2020 3:19 pm, ,

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump signed several executive actions aimed at providing more relief for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But Dallas Morning News Washington bureau chief Todd Gillman told Texas Standard that there’s a “very large gap between what he said what he was going to do and what the executive orders do.”

On whether there’s a payroll tax hiatus:

Gillman said the executive action does not halt payroll taxes for some Americans, despite what Trump had originally proposed. Instead, his executive action allows some workers to defer paying their payroll taxes until next year. That means they will still be due in full, just at a later date.

On extending unemployment benefits:

The president wants to give those out of work an extra $400 in unemployment money per week. But Gillman said Trump’s order also requires states to pay for 25% of those benefits. He said it’s unclear whether Texas Gov. Greg Abbott agreed to this, or if he even has the authority to agree to it without approval from the Texas Legislature.

“As far as I know, no governors were aware of this plan ahead of it being announced,” Gillman said.

On student loan relief:

Trump extended the period during which people with student loan debt can defer their payments. Interest also won’t accrue during that period. The emergency deferment period now ends in December.

On congressional action:

Gillman said Trump’s executive actions may have undermined the work of Senate Republicans to negotiate a relief plan with Democrats.

“There could have been a normal congressional process here,” Gillman said, “What the president is doing … is not so subtly jabbing Senate Republicans. He’s almost throwing them under the bus.”

Web story by Caroline Covington.

Updated on Aug. 11, 10 a.m.