President Donald Trump says he will issue executive orders on home evictions, unemployment benefits, evictions and student loan debt amid collapsing talks on a COVID-19 relief bill.
“If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage, I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the critical relief they need,” Trump said during a press conference Friday evening from Bedminster, N.J.
"What we're talking about is deferring the payroll tax for a period of months, until the end of the year, and I can extend it at any certain period. Hopefully I will be here to do the job. We're going to do the job, we've been doing the job like nobody could, nobody would actually.
"So we're going to have the payroll tax go until the end of the year and it will retroactive to July 1. At the end of the year, it may be extended. We're going to enhance unemployment benefits until the end of the year ... and defer student loan interests and forgive interest until further notice. We will extend the eviction moraturium so they aren't evicted. It's not their fault."
Talks between lawmakers and the White House collapsed Friday afternoon, with Democrats seeking, on balance, a much larger dollar figure for a plan to address pandemic-related school issues, unemployment and more. They were unable to reach a compromise to split the difference.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that during those talks they offered to cut $1 trillion from the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion proposal if Republicans would raise the top-line number of their plan by $1 trillion.
There remained differences not only in the overall amounts sought, but on various issues involving the scope of the relief package.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, "Unfortunately we did not make any progress today.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows earlier Friday said an executive order wasn't "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 that.”
Meadows, in a news conference aired on C-SPAN before the president's press conference, also expressed dissatisfaction with Democrats for not offering meaningful compromise on unemployment and aid to state and local governments, to name a few issues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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