Connect with us

US News

What’s in President Trump’s four coronavirus relief executive orders?

Brittany Jordan

Published

on

President Trump Saturday signed four executive actions to provide Americans financial relief from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a look at what they would do:

$400 weekly federal unemployment aid

Trump’s executive action calls for $400-per-week in supplemental unemployment aid. Unemployed people were getting $600-a-week extra until the federal program expired at the end of July.

Trump’s action would require states to pay for 25 percent of the $400 weekly benefit, while the federal government would pick up 75 percent.

Trump would divert up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to cover the unemployment program.

The extra unemployment help would last until Dec. 6 or until the Disaster Relief Fund balance drops to $25 billion, “whichever occurs first,” according to the White House memo.

This supplemental aid is on top of existing state unemployment benefits. State payments vary widely, from $235 a week maximum in Mississippi to $1,234 in Massachusetts.

Assistance to Renters and Homeowners

Congress passed the CARES Act in March that issued a 120-day temporary eviction moratorium on renters in federal housing assistance programs or those who live in a property with a federally backed mortgage. That eviction moratorium expired in July.

Trump’s executive action would encourage federal efforts to help renters and homeowners avoid eviction or foreclosure for failing to make their monthly payments. He directs his administration to identify available funds to “provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners who, as a result of the financial hardships caused by COVID-19, are struggling to meet their monthly rental or mortgage obligations.”

Payroll Tax holiday

Trump defers the payroll tax from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, for employees making $100,000 or less a year. The tax, deducted from workers’ paychecks, funds Social Security and Medicare. Employees would need to repay the federal government once the tax holiday ends without further action.

Extension of Student Loan Relief

The executive action suspends federal student loan payments and sets interest rates to 0 percent through Dec. 31, 2020. The current student loan relief programs were to expire on Sept. 30.

Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

Copyright © 2021 Federal Inquirer. All rights reserved.