Another deadline passed on Friday without Congress agreeing on a second stimulus package. In light of that news, President Donald Trump announced that he would be signing an executive order for various coronavirus relief-protections if Congress is not able to agree. According to Forbes, Trump said that he plans to address many different topics in his executive order, including a payroll tax cut, which both Democrats and Republicans have voiced their disapproval.
On Friday evening, Trump held a press conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersy. During the press conference, he shared the policies that he wants to be included in the next stimulus package, plans which will possibly be included in his own executive order. He said that wants eviction protections, an extension to unemployment benefits, a delay for student loans, and a payroll tax cut. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to hear that he wants to implement a payroll tax cut as he has voiced his support for that policy over the past several months. If he does take executive action, he could be met with litigation as Democrats have already said that they will challenge any of his executive orders in court, per Fox 8 News. The outlet noted that Democrats are worried that any executive action that is taken will be insufficient in addressing the needs of Americans amidst this pandemic.
Democrats and Republicans have been trying to hammer out details of this next stimulus package for weeks now. But, due to disagreements regarding unemployment benefits and the cost of the entire package, there has been no agreement as of yet. In late July, Senate Republicans unveiled their HEALS Act proposal, which would cost $1 trillion, less than a third of what the HEROES Act, the proposal from Democrats, costs. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reportedly agreed to compromise on a $2 trillion stimulus package, but the White House rejected that figure.
The HEALS Act also addressed the topic of unemployment benefits. Unlike the CARES Act's $600 per week, the HEALS Act calls for eligible Americans to receive an additional $200 per week in unemployment benefits through September and then a transition to individuals receiving 70% of lost wages. Pelosi has said that this figure would not go far enough in helping Americans during one of the worst economic crises of the nation's history. She said, "Republicans in the Senate came back with a piecemeal approach. Clearly, they and perhaps the White House do not understand the gravity of the situation. This is a freight train that is picking up steam."