Donald Trump Says He's Considering Executive Action to Suspend Evictions and Payroll Tax

President Donald Trump has suggested he'll sign an executive order to address the pending housing crisis facing the U.S. At a press conference on Monday, Trump followed up with his comment made earlier about acting to suspend evictions unilaterally.

"I could do that if I want, and I want to do that," Trump said, via The Hill. "I don't want people to be evicted." The president also noted that individuals who often their homes often have no other choice but to go to shelters, which are often crowded and extra dangerous amid the coronavirus pandemic. "They're thrown out viciously. It's not their fault. It's not their fault. It's China's fault," he added, once again placing the blame on the country where coronavirus was first discovered.

Trump's remarks about a moratorium on evictions came after he'd announced he'd signed another executive order regarding telehealth and the once-temporary deregulations that have now become permanent. "When the invisible enemy struck our shores, I took immediate action to eliminate regulatory barriers to telehealth, making it easier for patients to consult with doctors from safety and convenience," Trump said, again referring to the pandemic. "Really that have great safety and great convenience right from their homes. Today I'm taking action to ensure telehealth is here to stay. Moments ago in the Oval Office, I signed an executive order to make many of our regulatory reforms permanent."

At the press conference, the president also brought up one of his most-repeated talking points: payroll tax cuts. "I can do that also through executive order, so we'll be talking about that," Trump said. Currently, the HEALS Act would not allow for payroll tax cuts, though leading economists have previously explained why such a measure would be ineffective given the current unemployment rates. There's also the fact that those payroll taxes help fund programs like Social Security and Medicare, which are both in bad fiscal shape, given that millions of Americans unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, Trump published several tweets blasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for not supporting a short-term extension of the federal unemployment benefit included in the CARES Act, which had expired that day. "Payroll Tax Cut plus Dollars," Trump wrote in one of them. Pelosi, who did include benefit extensions in the HEROES Act, has herself called for a longer-term extension to be included in a larger stimulus package.