The executive order and three memorandums included a payroll tax holiday, a partial extension of federal unemployment, deferring student loans, and renters and homeowners assistance. The payroll tax holiday was among the most harshly criticized actions, with politicians saying Trump aims only to kill Medicare and Social Security. The orders were announced Saturday, August 9, 2020.
Senator Chuck Schumer, D-New York, discussed the relief package with ABC News’ George Stephanopulos. He declined to say whether he thought the actions were illegal, but said the President “didn’t do the job.” You can watch his comments in full here or below.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sen. Chuck Schumer Said Trump ‘Didn’t Do the Job’ and Efforts Are ‘Put Together in a Crazy Way’
NEW: Pressed by @GStephanopoulos on the legality of President Trump’s COVID-19 executive orders, Sen. Chuck Schumer declines to say if they’re illegal: “I’ll leave that up to the attorneys. It doesn’t do the job.” https://t.co/UZo5wMRs6s pic.twitter.com/eCVoTIJNdT
— ABC News (@ABC) August 9, 2020
Senator, D-New York spoke to George Stephanopulos on ABC News Saturday, saying Trump’s actions aimed to boost the economy during the coronavirus are overly complicated and “put together in a crazy way.’ When pressed, he declined to say whether he thought the actions were illegal.
“Well, you know, I’ll leave that up to the attorneys,” Schumer said. “It doesn’t do the job. 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,” he said.
He said if Trump had renewed the $600 federal unemployment funding, “things would flow smoothly.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also criticized Trump’s actions, later released a joint statement with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer asking Republicans to return to negotiations.
“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,” she wrote on Twitter.
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.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 8, 2020
The full statement said:
Today’s meager announcements by the President show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families. We’re disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, the President instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security and Medicare.
These policy announcements provide little real help to families. For instance, not only does the President’s announcement not actually extend the eviction moratorium, it provides no assistance to help pay the rent, which will only leave desperate families to watch their debt pile higher. Instead of passing a bill, now President Trump is cutting families’ unemployment benefits and pushing states further into budget crises, forcing them to make devastating cuts to life-or-death services.
Furthermore, these announcements do nothing to increase testing, nothing to reopen schools, nothing to put food on the table for hungry families, nothing to prevent heroes being laid off across state and local government, nothing to protect the Postal Service or the integrity of our elections, nothing on many critical needs of the American people.
Since the House passed The Heroes Act twelve weeks ago, more than 3.5 million Americans have become infected and 70,000 have tragically died. The coronavirus is moving through our country like a runaway freight train and the economy is quickly running out of steam. The only solution to crush the virus and protect working families is to pass a comprehensive bill that is equal to the historic health and economic catastrophe facing our country.
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. Lives are being lost, and time is of the essence.