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President Trump Takes Executive Action on COVID-19 Relief

President Trump took executive action on Saturday in an attempt to provide temporary relief to millions of Americans facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus.
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President Trump Takes Executive Action on COVID-19 Relief

With COVID-19 relief negotiations stalled in Congress, President Trump took executive action on Saturday in an attempt to provide relief to Americans.

First, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum to provide temporary payroll tax relief to Americans making less than $100,000 a year. The memorandum directs the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020. It is important to note that this action delays the collection of the payroll tax and that employees and employers would likely still be on the hook to pay these taxes in 2021 unless further congressional action is taken.

Second, the President directed the federal government to provide an additional $300 a week in payments to the unemployed and called on states to fund an extra $100 in weekly benefits. Additionally, President Trump signed an executive order directing his administration to take all lawful measures to prevent residential evictions and foreclosures resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19.

Finally, President Trump also signed a presidential memorandum to provide student loan relief for Americans who have already faced a financial hit due to the coronavirus. President Trump had previously taken action to help federal student loan borrowers by allowing them to suspend loan payments or pay them with 0% interest. Congress previously took steps to continue this policy through Sept. 30 in the CARES Act. This new presidential memorandum would provide borrowers with this option through the end of 2020.

As Congress and the Trump Administration consider further action to provide relief to those affected by COVID-19, the Big “I" will continue to provide updates in the Markets Pulse and News & Views e-newsletters.

Wyatt Stewart is Big “I" senior director of federal government affairs.

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Thursday, August 13, 2020
On the Hill