Trump issues covid relief executive orders

(32 minutes)
(He'd actually called it 'the Chinese flu', of course.)

Trump signs executive orders on Covid-19 relief after talks break down between White House and Democrats’, RT.com, 8 Aug, 2020

“Trump announced the orders at a press conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club on Saturday, the same location where he warned such action would be taken a day earlier.

The orders will give a payroll tax holiday to Americans earning less than $100,000 a year. A second order will "protect people from eviction," Trump said.

A third order will extend unemployment benefits, giving Americans out of jobs $400 a week on top of the unemployment benefits they would have been entitled to before the pandemic, which is a decrease from the previous $600 per week benefit Democrats were looking to extend through the end of the year.

Trump also said that student loan repayments would be deferred and that any accrued interest would be forgiven indefinitely.

The Democrats' $3.4 trillion dollar plan consisted of major funding for schools looking to reopen amid the ongoing pandemic and an extension of the $600 a week federal unemployment benefit which expired in July. It also called for more financial benefits for those threatened with eviction over unpaid bills.

Schumer and Pelosi addressed the potential of executive orders on Friday and warned they could be legally dubious, as Congress has authority over federal spending. Schumer also argued that executive orders would not be "close to as good" in terms of financially protecting struggling Americans.”

Negotiators fail to reach deal in coronavirus relief talks;
Trump again vowed to issue a series of contentious executive orders amid the stalemate’, politico, July 7, 2020

“Friday’s meeting in Pelosi’s office capped off two weeks of closed-door negotiations between White House officials and Democratic leaders without a breakthrough. Meanwhile, millions of Americans remain unemployed and coronavirus cases and deaths continue to spike in many areas of the country.

Clinching an agreement was never going to be easy. From the start, the White House and Democratic leaders were trillions of dollars apart, with Democrats pushing for the $3 trillion HEROES Act and the White House aiming to stay at $1 trillion. Senate Republicans also were divided on their own opening offer, with hard-line conservatives opposing additional federal spending.

Pelosi and Schumer said Friday that they were willing to cut down their ask by $1 trillion if the White House increased their offer by $1 trillion, a move administration officials rejected.

In their numerous discussions, Mnuchin, Meadows, Schumer and Pelosi made progress on narrowing their differences on unemployment insurance but remained far apart on state and local aid, election security funding and help for renters, among a host of other issues."

No mention of stim checks to individuals, but IIRC,the Democrats had been asking for the same measly #1200, only arguing about how many dollars per dependent children.

Speaker Pelosi hasn't Tweeted about it yet.

Nor has Chuck; he has #OtherFishToFry:

Gawd's blood, I hate to say it, but at least it's something. The stalemate was expected to last until election day.

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Trump is playing the hero. I have no idea if he can make good on these promises. Or if he even wants to. It is all about catching the headlines for Trump as he must be taking note of unfriendly polls.

Whatever Trump's motives or the outcomes, if any, he has taken an active role today. And that will cheer him up.

Meanwhile, back at the DNC, seriously guys, are you really going to go with Russia, Russia, Russia again?

The Democrats seem, once again, trying to run on the national security apparatus ticket. It's not a coincidence that they favor so many ex-CIA, FBI, Military candidates.

In my view, every Progressive that wins an election and thereby attains a little power is a strike against the Empire.

Trump seems to want to win. He will do say promise anything that he can think of to attaaain his goal.

That's more than we can safely say about Biden at this point.

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NYCVG

just buy the damn votes. GWB started this with his measly $200 checks. (This is what tipped men I knew to vote for Bush, and these were men earning six figures.)

Never knew the POTUS had the power of the purse. But as Congress has long deferred to the POTUS on making war, might as well give him the purse as well.

The payroll tax holiday is another terrible idea. Objected when Congress did it for Obama, and therefore, I can criticize Trump's move without being a hypocrite.

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Granma's picture

@Marie He will get lots of headlines. But he is not in charge of the purse. I don’t like it. His ego is completely out of control. He needs to be reined in.

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@Granma the House said no to Trump and made it stick?

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@Marie I mean, why start now?

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The only way Joe Biden is “going to be like FDR” is that he will die in office and leave a shitty vice president as a replacement.

@Dr. John Carpenter Fascinating how a know-nothing nincompoop like Trump has successfully left the GOP, DNC, HRC, and Congressional Democrats unable to do anything other than gnash their teeth and flail their arms. Not finding CTs all that compelling, I reject that they're all in cahoots with Trump. Their loathing is authentic. And it's compounded by the reality that they keep losing to him. They don't get his game, and even if they did, they can't do anything different and also remain the lackeys of the banks, health insurers, PHarma, and MIC.

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@Marie

both teams have scripted play books
an attempt to formulate public opinion
to match the poles

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Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

@Marie But they profit from his actions so....

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I bet that this was their compromise (take it or leave it) position. 9th dimensional chess is a bitch. So, Russia!!! That'll win the elction. I am hearing HER will give a major speech at Bidens coronation. Should put Biden over the top.

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Pricknick's picture

@Snode
Over the top as in winning the general election or over the top as in completely losing his ever diminishing mind.
I want multiple presidential debates. Let the whole world know without a doubt that this country is nuts.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick

his ever diminishing mind
seems right.

DNC is trying like hell to keep
him in the basement.

Less exposure is better for
the image.

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Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

@QMS they'd used in 2016. The less seen, the better HRC did in the polls.

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@Marie

Either way works. Dull minds with..

overexposure = DeTrump
underexposure = ByeDone

media seems better with the
behind the curtain routine
this go around

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Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

@Pricknick as in "it's all downhill from here".

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Donald Trump wants to win reelection so bad that he will actually do some good things. Last week it was the National Park bill. Now this.
There is a lot to critique here. First and foremost for me is the payroll tax holiday. But there is some to like as well. And he quite effectively pitches that he wants to help the American people and the Dems just want to stymie him.
I think most readers here can see beyond/thru all this. But it is effective politics in my mind. Trump working hard to save America and its economy. Dems off on vacation.
Score one for the Donald.

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WoodsDweller's picture

that will be forgotten by next week. It will go to court, get struck down, be appealed, get struck down, go to the Supreme Court, get struck down.
The only thing is running out the clock during August recess and dominating a couple of news cycles.
Where is he going to get the money for those unemployment checks? The eviction stuff might stick for Federal mortgages, but nothing else.

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"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

@WoodsDweller will be? It's a bit of a political hot potato for DC Dems to take on. On legal principal Trump's move should be shot down or Congress accepts being irrelevant. All hail John Roberts' unitary executive. (Actually, I'd expect Roberts to shoot down this Trump move, but I could be wrong.)

The other problem for DC neoliberal Democrats is that they too are in favor of hobbling Social Security. Haven't given up on Obama's 'Grand Bargain.'

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a player piano. He held his hands over the keyboard and they played for him. Congrats Nancy, you just won the election for Trump.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

travelerxxx's picture

Embedded in Trump's statement is the plan to "starve the beast" – as Larry Kudlow (Trump's chief economic advisor) put it in 1996 (WSJ paywall):

"Tax cuts impose a restraint on the size of government. Tax cuts will starve the beast… Specifically, tax cuts provide a policy incentive to search for market solutions to the problems of Social Security, health care, education and the environment."

Trump pledged to make the payroll tax deductions permanent upon his re-election. In other words, he has pledged to defund Social Security and Medicare. He flat-out said it.

There will be more and detailed coverage of this, no doubt, but right now a good starting point to learn what Trump is up to is this Common Dreams article: Trump Just Admitted on Live Television He Will 'Terminate' Social Security and Medicare If Reelected in November

A few snips from the article:

President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon openly vowed to permanently "terminate" the funding mechanism for both Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November—an admission that was seized upon by defenders of the popular safety net programs who have been warning for months that the administration's threat to suspend the payroll tax in the name of economic relief during the Covid-19 pandemic was really a backdoor sabotage effort.

...Trump said he was implemented a payroll tax "holiday"—which experts noted would later have to be paid back—but said if he won in November that such a cut would become permanent.

As the Trump administration has foreshadowed this kind of move for months, economists on Friday warned again that any effort to undermine the payroll tax would do practically nothing to help struggling workers and families, but everything to sabotage two of the most popular and successful programs in the country.

Much more in the Common Dreams article. Doubtless those of you who are proficient at posting Tweets can add far more than I have cobbled together.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@travelerxxx There it is, folks, your one and only neoliberal playbook. What Democrat can resist "market solutions"?

That ought to provoke a public debate or two.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

'unbenevolent dictator' into the title, but then i'd thought if he could really put the moratorium on evictions into play, as well as extend the UI benefits, why not?

or do those involve the House's power of the purse, as well?

well, pelosi's tweetin' by now, having her daughter give her some able assists:

@SpeakerPelosi 16h

Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people.

Read my full statement with @Senator Schumer

Christine Pelosi @sfpelosi
2h
LIVE @SpeakerPelosi on #FoxNewsSunday - Trump’s meager Executive Orders “unconstitutional sloth” “illusions” that rob Social Security and Medicare.

oddly, this one disappears, then reappears...as if my magic:

@SenSchumer 15h

Instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, Pres. Trump chose to stay on his golf course to announce unworkable, weak & narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security & Medicare

from Team Biden:

@JoeBiden 15h

'Today, Donald Trump stated that if re-elected, he'll undermine the entire financial footing of Social Security.

Our seniors and millions of Americans with disabilities are under enough stress without their hard-earned Social Security benefits in doubt.'

ha ha ha! @JoeBiden 17h

It’s an important choice, and I want you to be one of the first to know who I’ve picked as my running mate – text FIRST to 30330 to get notified when I’ve made my decision.

gotta get to sunday chores, but this will be quite a media foodfight (so much coverage is 'as was reported', 'allegedly'), as well as 'constitutional or not' stuff.

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@wendy davis

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

wendy davis's picture

@Fishtroller 02

care; pray for the greedy, wealthy, exploitative Republicans who offered $400 not (our ask) $600 a month UI extension! i don't think DT's moratorium on evictions has come up from what i just found at the hill.... i'll enter some of it soon.

(we harvested 5 g. our luscious sweet basil crop, i washed it, plucked it, refrigerated the leaves, and need to blanch it, shock and awe it, then freeze it for pesto later soon.)

the rank hypocrisy is overwhelming, isn't it?

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@wendy davis to come and lecture Congress on morality, she lost me completely.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

wendy davis's picture

@Fishtroller 02

how in the most beautiful world in the world could i have forgotten about john boenher? ewwww; now i can see his bottle-tanned leering face. ish.

pope francis (pretend liberation theologist) on morality; ay yi yi. made the indigenous slave-owning (thus killing) junipero sera a saint.

good job there, miz speaker. but she Prays Harder, reminding me of that airport Hertz car rental slogan: We Try Harder!

yum on pesto; and those leaves were so succulent that they were actually a pleasure to pinch off.

the 12 or whatever 'progressives' who'd signed ro Khana's letter to indicting the 'maduro regime' liked the idea of the Pope helping negotiations...or something.

Give me Papery, or give me Death!

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@wendy davis

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

OzoneTom's picture

h/t to u/clonal_antibody at reddit

Trump can give by executive order, everybody the right to enroll in the current Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. The law already exists..

All he has to do is to declare a Covid-19 environmental emergency, and anybody who is impacted by the environmental disaster can enroll in Medicare with the same obligations and benefits that those over 65 get.

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wendy davis's picture

@OzoneTom

what a rollicking great idea, esp. given he's so keen on EOs! don't quote me on this, but IIRC, snoopy said that the biden/bernie unity pact had jettisoned M4All.

what a shithole nation; fancy this is where we are! this might tickle your fancy; it sure did mine.

(Black Swan author) Nassim Taleb: Covid-19 brought socialism to America, 7 Aug, 2020, RT.com

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis to abolish Medicare and Social Security and bring us back to the good old days of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman."

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

Ds on the sunday shows railing against that 'payroll taxes, etc.? because: Obomba? they're having a discussion that on Snoop's 'Pelosi Prays' thread, far too confusing 4 me.

i did some pokin' about for 'analyses', this time on CNN, and the partisan hackery was so evident that they were almost useless. i'd thought to enter a few, but srsly, this is the only new bipartisan columned i'd found:

'Trump's illegal power grab and the specter of American Bonapartism', 10 August 2020

figured i'd move on to the 'Veep Sweepstakes'. ; )

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wendy davis's picture

first, a longish one from the hill (a compilation of several earlier pieces):

‘White House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders’, aug 9, 2020, thehill.com.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the actions – which include an extension of unemployment benefits at a reduced rate, an eviction moratorium, a student loan repayment freeze and a suspension of the payroll tax – “illusions.”

“What the president does doesn’t even accomplish anything he sets out to do in the categories he did, but we said to [Republicans], we’ll come down a trillion [dollars], you come up a trillion [dollars] and we’ll be able to have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Characterizing the actions “as even accomplishing what they set out to do, something that would take the place of an agreement, is just not so,” she added.
Democrats in particular hit the executive order on unemployment insurance for lowering Americans' benefits at a time of still-high unemployment and for putting responsibility for 25 percent of the enhanced benefit on states that are dealing with depleted revenues and antiquated systems.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who along with Pelosi had been attempting to negotiate a deal on legislation, called it an "an unworkable plan."
"It doesn't do the job,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday of all four orders. “It's not going to go into effect in most places for weeks or months because it's so put together in a crazy way."

"If he just would have renewed the $600 as we do in the HEROES bill through January, things would flow smoothly,” he added, referencing the package passed by the House earlier this year.

The action reduces the federal plus-up from $600 to $400, with state governments responsible for 25 percent. [

on the rt. sidebar: Aaron Glantz discusses housing crisis as eviction moratorium expires, Rising

it would seem that none of them happened to rail against TravellerXXX's common dreams piece: ‘Trump Just Admitted on Live Television He Will 'Terminate' Social Security and Medicare If Reelected in November’; One progressive critic called the president's promise "a full-on declaration of war against current and future Social Security beneficiaries."

one might think that that in itself itself would blow him out of the race for the oval office.

on the right sidebar was the same author, queally, noting that (someone writing for) biden on medium.com is coming out strong strong strong for protecting social security:

"While Biden was repeatedly hit by critics during the Democratic primary for his less-than-impressive record when it comes to defending the social safety net during his long career in Congress, progressive advocacy groups like Social Security Works on Sunday applauded Biden for his promise to defend the program against an attack by Trump:

Strong statement from @JoeBiden on Donald Trump's plan to destroy Social Security if reelected. https://t.co/iAQONnjGNe

— SocialSecurityWorks (@SSWorks) August 9, 2020

'Trump' in the Title of this piece seems to be a MacGuffin (irrelevant to the plot, story) but, if this isn't about Trump, but earlier uniparty plans to end evictions for some duration or other:

Trump’s eviction ban would leave most tenants in peril; Housing advocates say the only way to ensure people can stay in their homes is to provide rental assistance payments’, aug 9, politico

don't have time to unwind any of it, but you can if you want.

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