Trump signs executive orders providing coronavirus relief funds, bypassing Congress

Talks for stimulus packages have hit a stalemate on Capitol Hill.

Updated: August 8, 2020 - 5:20pm

President Trump on Saturday signed executive orders directing some federal funds to go toward coronavirus economic relief efforts, a measure the president takes as negotiations over a new stimulus package have stalled between Congress and the White House. 

Republicans and Democrats have been struggling to reach an agreement on a new round of coronavirus stimulus, with efforts having hit a roadblock late this week as both sides attempted to carve out their own respective policy desires in the latest package. 

Trump on Saturday said the orders he signed include an extension of enhanced federal unemployment benefits, the deferment of some student loan payments, and eviction protection for renters throughout the country.

The president also said he would instruct employers to defer some payroll taxes through the end of the year for workers making less than $100,000.  Payroll taxes are seen by many economists as regressive against lower-income workers, who must surrender a larger share of their income than higher-earning individuals taxed by other means. 

The first round of stimulus earlier in the year distributed a $1,200 check to most Americans, with $500 for each child. The new round of talks between Congress and the White House has included a similar proposal, with per-child payments also being bumped up to $1,200 each.

The stimulus bill also extended loans to American businesses to help cover wages and keep employees on payroll even if a business was shuttered due to coronavirus shutdowns. The package's Paycheck Protection Program offered loan forgiveness for employers who retained employees rather than laying them off. 

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