Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Trump claiming to make an executive order on Evictions and Pay Roll taxes is the Democrats don’t reach a deal.
U.S president Donald Trump said on Monday that he’s looking at unilaterally taking steps to stop tenant evictions and lower payroll taxes, adding that such moves might be necessary if a new coronavirus relief bill can’t be brokered with congressional Democrats.
“A lot of people are going to be evicted, but I’m going to stop it because I’ll do it myself if I have to,” Trump told reporters at an event at the White House. “I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders, and we’re looking at that very seriously right now.”
He told reporters he could use an executive order to lower payroll taxes, after the idea generated little enthusiasm on Capitol Hill.
The White House is confronting two major problems that millions of Americans are facing right now. Enhanced unemployment benefits for close to 30 million workers lapsed last week, and a moratorium on evictions also expired. Trump has recently identified these issues as his highest priorities in the political talks, though the White House did not do much in the months leading up to the new crisis to map out a plan.
His comments came as senior White House aides gave markedly different takes on where the talks with Democrats stand. Pressure has been increasing since the enhanced unemployment benefits and the moratorium on housing evictions expired. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the White House was open to a bigger package than recently envisioned, but Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said both sides were very far apart.
Mnuchin and Meadows met Monday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) for about two hours.
Schumer said afterward that the group was making progress and that the issue of executive orders had not come up.
“There are a long list of things that are needed, and the good news is our Republican colleagues agree with a few of them,” Schumer said. “The discussion is productive.”
The group has met daily for the past week, with limited signs of progress. Democrats have been holding out for a wide ranging $3 trillion bill, while Trump administration officials have pushed a short term fix for unemployment insurance, evictions and perhaps a few other issues.
Complicating matters, each participant in the talks has described the state of affairs differently. Mnuchin said the administration was open to a comprehensive bill if a deal could be reached.
“The president wants us to get a deal so we can resolve these issues that are very important to the American public,” he said, adding in response to a reporter’s question, “We’re open to a bigger package if we can reach an agreement.”
Schumer said that they spent Monday’s meeting comparing elements of a $1 trillion bill that Senate Republicans unveiled last week with the more generous spending provisions Democrats have proposed.
The White House’s strategy in these negotiations has shifted multiple times in the past few weeks. Democrats passed a $3 trillion package in May that included an extension of the $600 weekly enhanced unemployment benefits, new stimulus checks, aid for states and localities, and various other measures. The White House expressed opposition to that bill but did not begin negotiations with Democrats until recently. It also took the White House much longer than expected to broker a unified proposal with the Senate GOP after blowback on several of the administration’s ideas. The Republican bill would extend unemployment benefits at a lower rate.