Seizing the power of his podium and his pen, US President Donald Trump on Saturday moved to bypass the nation's elected lawmakers as he claimed the authority to defer payroll taxes and extend an expired unemployment benefit. (Aug. 8)
DONALD TRUMP: Democrats are obstructing all of it. Therefore, I'm taking executive action. We've had it. And we're going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers. I'm taking action to provide an additional or an extra $400 per week in expanded benefits, $400. OK? So that's generous, but we want to take care of our people. Again, it wasn't their fault. It was China's fault.
States will be asked to cover 25% of the costs using existing funding, such as the tens of billions of dollars available to them through the coronavirus relief fund. Under this plan, states will be able to offer greater benefits if they so choose. And the federal government will cover 75% of the cost. So we're all set up. It's $400 per week.
And we're doing that without the Democrats. They want to bail out states. That have been badly managed by Democrats, badly run by Democrats for many years, and in fact, in all cases, many decades. And we're not willing to do that. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have chosen to hold this vital assistance hostage.
So I will sign a directive instructing the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes from September 1. And we're actually going to be making that. We just got the word. We're just getting some word from a lot of people. We didn't think we'd have to do this because we thought the Democrats would be reasonable. They've been not only unreasonable. They've been ridiculous.