With negotiations at an impasse because of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s complete refusal to compromise, President Trump announced this past weekend his decision to take a series of executive actions to bring relief to American families suffering due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here’s what you need to know about the steps he’s taking:
- The President directed the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of the employee portion of some payroll taxes through the end of the year. This payroll tax cut will mean a boost to American families earning less than $100,000 a year and give them more cash on hand to meet their needs over the next few months.
- The President took action to help Americans who have lost their jobs and been unable to work by temporarily extending unemployment benefits and providing an additional $400 a week through December. States are being asked to use funds such as those allocated through the Coronavirus Relief Fund to pay a 25 percent share of the cost.
- President Trump also issued an executive order to help ensure Americans do not face eviction or foreclosure during the crisis. The order directs federal agencies to take steps to prohibit residential eviction for failure to pay rent, and prioritizes federal funding for struggling homeowners and renters.
- Lastly, the President is providing student loan relief for Americans facing financial hardship due to the virus. Borrowers will be able to suspend loan payments and enjoy 0 percent interest through the end of the year. Borrowers can defer payments if it is right for them, or use this period of zero interest to pay down their loans quicker.
With negotiations at an impasse, this turns the tables and gives the President more leverage in negotiations during the coming weeks. The Democrats had hoped to use the expiration of unemployment benefits at the end of last month as leverage in their negotiations to force Republicans and the President to accept bailing out blue state governments that are looking to use this crisis to address their pension programs and other solvency issues that existed long before COVID-19 ever hit.
I do expect an agreement to be reached in the coming weeks that provides additional relief to those businesses that have had major revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19 as well as other measures. As always, stay tuned for more...