Trump considers executive orders on payroll tax, evictions, student loans

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — President Donald Trump said he was considering to forge ahead without Congress in an effort to address expired relief measures as Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked after two weeks of negotiations over a stimulus package.

During a Friday evening news conference at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, the president said he plans to sign executive orders for a deferment on payroll taxes, an extension of unemployment insurance and a moratorium on rental evictions.

Trump said he also planned to extend the deferment of the payroll tax through the end of the year, adding that unemployment benefits also will be extended until Dec. 31.

The president added that student loans would be deferred “until further notice.”

Trump did not provide a timeline for issuing the executive orders, although he said they could be signed “by the end of the week.” A White House official told CNN that Trump was not expected to sign any executive orders Friday night.

“They’re being drawn by the lawyers right now,” Trump said.

“My administration continues to work in good faith to reach an agreement with Democrats in Congress that will extend unemployment benefits, provide protections for evictions … and get relief to American families,” Trump said during the news conference. “Yet tragically, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer continue to insist on radical left-wing policies that have nothing to do with the China virus.

“If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage I will act under my authority as President to get Americans the relief they need,” he continued.

Earlier Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said they would recommend the president issue the executive orders, which also cover student loans and unemployment.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time for us to finalize these and process them but we’ll do them as quickly as we can because the president wants action,” Mnuchin told reporters earlier Friday.

The executive orders are certain to receive a legal challenge from Democrats, CNN reported. Democratic party leaders said executive action would be insufficient to address the depth of the economic and public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The executive orders are expected to meet fierce resistance from Democrats who plan to challenge them in court. Democrats warn that executive action taken will be insufficient to address the extent of the economic and public health crisis faced by Americans during the pandemic.

The two political parties remain far apart on the stimulus aid relief. Democrats have proposed a $3.5 trillion aid package, while Republicans are pushing for a $1 trillion plan.

Trump, in a Twitter post on Friday, accused Democrats of trying to extract “bailout money for poorly run Democrat cities and states” as part of the failed talks.

“Nothing to do with China Virus!” Trump tweeted, “No interest. We are going a different way!”

Mnuchin and Meadows met for less than two hours on Friday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer as part of a last-ditch effort to revive the negotiations on a fifth coronavirus bill, according to The Hill.

Congress has already spent close to $3 trillion this year to deal with the pandemic, The Washington Post reported.

Check back for more on this developing story.