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White House Tries to Pressure Democrats to Resume Economic Relief Talks

08-10-2020
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A closed sign hangs in the door of The Market, a long-time restaurant and food store located in Larimer Square, that has closed because of the new coronavirus, June 18, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A closed sign hangs in the door of The Market, a long-time restaurant and food store located in Larimer Square, that has closed because of the coronavirus, June 18, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump's decision to act on COVID-19 relief through executive orders is receiving push back from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. 

Democrats call the move "unconstitutional."

This as roughly 31 million unemployed Americans enters another week without extra pay to cover food, housing, and childcare. 

"It was time to act and actually we've been largely praised," Trump said. "We have to get money out to the people."

The four executive orders would extend unemployment benefits, curb evictions, provide relief to student borrowers, and suspend the collection of payroll taxes. 

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"This is the money that they need, this is the money they want and this gives them a great incentive to go back to work," Trump said. 

The $400 a week in additional unemployment payments is less than Democrats want and requires states to bypass Congress plus cover $100 of the benefit. 

"It was an unconstitutional slop," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  

"The president's executive orders described in one word could be paltry," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said. 

But on Monday, the White House said it appears lawmakers might be changing their tune. 

Trump tweeted "so now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn't it." 

The pressure is on for another round of relief with the US now exceeding 5 million coronavirus cases and 163,000 deaths. 

Trump's executive order does not include the second round of relief checks sent directly to Americans. There is bipartisan support in Congress on that issue. So if both sides come to an agreement on another relief bill, odds are that will be included. 

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