Millions Facing Eviction and Joblessness Get No Immediate Help from Trump’s New Executive Orders

Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 10, 2020

President Trump’s latest executive orders to extend unemployment benefits and defer payroll taxes may be unconstitutional. Democrats had hoped to extend a program to give unemployed workers an additional $600 in weekly benefits and to extend a federal moratorium protecting some renters from evictions, but failed to overcome opposition from Republican lawmakers. Under Trump’s order, unemployed workers would continue receiving an additional $400 a week, but only once states put up a quarter of the money and set up a new system to distribute the payments — a process that could take months. Trump also signed an executive order on evictions that does not extend the federal moratorium on evictions, and ordered a deferral of payroll taxes that will still need to be paid back next year, after the election. Trump’s executive orders amount to “political theater,” says David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect, but could “set a really dangerous precedent” for the separation of powers in the future.

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