COVID-19 Stimulus Checks, Second Round: Did Trump Say He’d Approve Them?

covid-19 stimulus checks second round

Getty Will there be a second COVID-19 stimulus check, but what would it look like, and what is the HEALS Act?

President Donald Trump, in hastily called news conferences on August 7 and 9, announced a series of COVID-19 relief measures that he plans to take in the coming days. However, what a lot of people are wondering: Did he say he’d approve a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks?

The answer is no. The president left COVID-19 stimulus checks off the list of things he’s planning to approve via executive order. That may be because he doesn’t have a choice due to the limitations on executive order powers. Congress has funding authority, and unless Trump takes money from the Pentagon budget like he did for the border wall (a very controversial move tethered to a national emergency declaration), he appears to have limits on his ability to attach monetary spending to an executive order.

It’s still possible that Democrats and Republicans in Congress could unite on a narrower stimulus package that includes second COVID-19 stimulus checks. The problem has been that the second round of stimulus checks was folded into a bigger relief package and Congressional leaders couldn’t agree on other parts of it, including the overall price tag and amount of extended unemployment benefits. President Trump has repeatedly indicated that he does support a second round of stimulus checks. Thus, it’s possible Congress will still come up with a way to do it. It’s just not likely to happen via executive order.

According to Constitution Daily, “An executive order is a directive from the President that has much of the same power as a federal law.” According to the American Bar Association, “Executive orders are not legislation; they require no approval from Congress, and Congress cannot simply overturn them. Congress may pass legislation that might make it difficult, or even impossible, to carry out the order, such as removing funding. Only a sitting U.S. President may overturn an existing executive order by issuing another executive order to that effect.”

Trump announced that he had signed executive orders on August 8, including an additional $400 per week in extra unemployment benefits.

Trump also said he’s suspending some student loan payments through the end of the year, is protecting renters from eviction, and will defer payroll taxes on Americans earning less than $100,000, also through the end of 2020. “We’ve had it,” he said in the press conference, in which he criticized Democratic leaders in Congress. “We’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American worker.” However, that doesn’t include the checks. Trump did reference them, saying he was willing to immediately sign legislation if Congress approves it “providing additional relief payment to families.” However, Congress has not signed such legislation.

Here’s what you need to know:


Trump Is on the Record as Supporting a Second Round of Stimulus Checks

stim checks

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President Donald Trump previously floated the idea of $1,200 to $3,400 second COVID-19 stimulus checks for qualifying Americans, with the latter number being for a family of four.

The stumbling block is using executive order powers to do it. According to Newsweek, that’s because there’s a limit to presidential executive order authority, and additional stimulus checks likely require legislative action. The major stumbling block to using an executive order to approve stimulus checks: “The constitution puts control of federal spending in the hands of Congress, not the president,” according to Al-Jazeera. Trump used money in the Pentagon budget to fund part of his national emergency approved border wall to get around this funding question, the site reports.

There are also questions about whether the president can use executive orders to do some of the other things he’s telegraphed doing to provide Americans with stimulus relief.

In a July 31 tweet, Trump wrote, “The Democrats are holding back the $1,200 to $3,400 (family of four) checks that were ready to be sent out!”

On July 29, Trump sat down for a one-on-one interview with a local television station, YourBasin.com.
When the journalist asked Trump, “Is $1,200 dollars enough?” the president replied, “We’re going to see it may go higher than that actually.”

The journalist also asked Trump how big he thinks the stimulus checks should be. “Where would you like to see it at?” she asked.

“I’d like to see it be very high because I love the people I want the people to get it you know the economy is going to come back we just had tremendous job numbers as you know it was just announced we had great retail sales numbers so this is all coming back we had the greatest economy we’ve ever had and we had to close it up because you know we had to do it we saved millions of lives by doing that but now we’re bringing it back and now it’s going to come back we gotta take care of the people in the meantime,” Trump told YourBasin.com.


Trump Listed a Lot of Things He Wants to Do Via Likely Executive Order But Stimulus Checks Didn’t Make the List


Trump holds presser discussing possible executive order for additional stimulusPresident Trump discusses coronavirus and a potential stimulus package. Subscribe to Fox News! bit.ly/2vBUvAS Watch more Fox News Video: video.foxnews.com Watch Fox News Channel Live: foxnewsgo.com/ FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. The number one network in cable, FNC has been…2020-08-08T00:24:04Z

Trump, in the press conference on August 7 and against on August 8, listed the relief elements he’s planning to get done. He pointedly did not mention stimulus checks.

“My administration continues to work in good faith to reach an agreement with Democrats in Congress to extend unemployment benefits, provide protections against evictions…tragically Nancy Pelosi and chuck Schumer continue to exist with radical leftwing policies that have nothing to do with the China virus,” said Trump.

If the Democrats don’t agree to a compromise, said Trump, “I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief” they need. He then said he will be “deferring the payroll tax for a period of months to the end of the year, retroactive to July 1.” He said he also plans to “enhance unemployment benefits through the end of the year” and “defer student loan payments and forgive interest until further notice” as well as “extend the eviction moratorium.”

According to Forbes, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have said “they will officially recommend that President Trump sign executive orders on unemployment insurance, evictions, and student loans.”

“The chief and I will recommend to the president based upon our lack of activity today to move forward with some executive orders,” Mnuchin said, according to Forbes.

“We’re going to take executive orders to try to alleviate some of the pain that people are experiencing,” said Meadows, according to CNN. “This is not a perfect answer. We’ll be the first ones to say that, but it is all that we can do and all the President can do within the confines of his executive power and we’re going to encourage him to do it.”

CNN reported that Democrats plan to challenge Trump executive orders in court.

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