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WASHINGTON – With talks with Congress at a standstill, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders on Saturday to provide temporary relief to Americans suffering the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking from his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ, Trump said his order would provide an additional $ 400 per week in unemployment benefits, $ 200 less than the added benefit had. expires at the end of July.

Trump said he would also suspend payments on some student loans until the end of the year, protect tenants from being evicted from their homes, and instruct employers to postpone some payroll taxes. year end for Americans who make less than $ 100,000 annually.

Trump said he decided to act on his own and order the benefits after two weeks of negotiations with Democrats in parliament collapsing without agreement on a new coronavirus bailout package.

“We’ve got it,” he said. “We will save American jobs and save American workers.”

House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., met over two hours Friday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was in a last-ditch effort to save discussion and come up with a new package to help Americans still feel the economic effects of the pandemic.

However, the negotiations appear to be fruitless, with both sides admitting that they are at a standstill and that there is no real road ahead.

Mnuchin then announced that he and Meadows would recommend Trump to continue with executive orders, even though Democrats say the president lacks the legal authority to take unilateral action on most items. that and in any case, he doesn’t. enough money in the federal budget to accomplish your goals.

Trump has been threatening for days to provide relief through an executive order if talks fail to reach an agreement.

Before leaving for Ohio on Thursday, Trump said he had instructed his staff to work out the order details.

“Maybe we will make a deal, but maybe we won’t,” Trump told reporters.

Congressional lawmakers have interpreted Trump’s threat as a way to pressure negotiators to come up with a deal. Some Republicans even said they believed Trump was cheating.

“I doubt he’s serious,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters on Thursday.

Political opponents question whether Trump’s orders are legitimate and whether they will work in all cases.

Democrat strategist Eddie Vale said: “There’s nowhere close enough to fix the problem.

Priorities USA Action’s Josh Schwerin, a political action committee that backs Democratic candidates, has described Trump’s actions as more than just a political stunt.

“The idea that Trump is leading is completely unproductive,” Schwerin said. “House Democrats passed a bailout bill two months ago and Trump chose to force the country to plunge deeper into recession instead of acting. Trump failed on the coronavirus and he failed. economic failure. “

Josh Blackman, an expert in constitutional law, said Trump could try to address questions about whether he has the authority to cut payroll taxes and other tax breaks through executive orders. way of indicating that applicable federal law is not fully enforced.

“Instead of giving benefits, he’s simply instructing the government not to collect taxes, or evict people in federal homes,” said Blackman, a professor of constitutional law at the South Texas Law School in Houston.

Blackman said, if Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden in November, it would be difficult for Biden to end those policies immediately. “Biden’s efforts to prevent them will be tied to lawsuits, possibly for years,” he said.

Two of the items mentioned under Trump’s order were part of a $ 2 trillion coronavirus recall package that Congress approved in March but has expired.

One An additional $ 600 per week for unemployment benefits that expired at the end of July coupled with a federal deportation ban, risking tenants of more than 12 million rental units nationwide if they don’t pay.

The law also suspended payments for some student loans. That term will expire at the end of September.

Trump has long pushed for a payroll tax cut, but members of Congress on both parties oppose the idea.

Congress and the White House have struggled to develop a new package of coronavirus as the pandemic’s death toll continues to rise. More than 160,000 Americans have died from the disease caused by the virus, and nearly 5 million are infected with the virus.

In May, the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a bill worth around $ 3.4 trillion that would provide a second direct payout for millions of Americans, nearly 1 trillion dollars to state and local government revenue shortages and billions of dollars to support housing and food.

In July, the Republican-controlled Senate launched the opposite proposal, the HEALS Act, a $ 1.1 trillion package that includes direct payments but no federal aid. for housing, food or state and local governments. It still hasn’t passed through the chamber.

Contribution: Christal Hayes, Nicholas Wu, Ledyard King

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