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A break down of the executive orders signed by President Trump.

With stimulus talks breaking down, President Trump decided to bypass congress and deliver aid directly to the American people. This article is not intended to clarify the legality of the President’s actions nor for political purposes.

It’s meant to help understand what was signed. 

Unemployment benefits 

What probably affects most people immediately. The executive order on Saturday provides an additional or extra $400 a week in expanded benefits. Most noticeable is that this is $200 less than what was approved in the CARES act.

It also is a major contention point in the ongoing negotiations between democrats, republicans and the white house. 

Also, as written, the executive order calls for states to pick up 25% of that enhanced benefit or $100 per claim. 

President Trump later said the funds would be withdrawn from federal funds already issued to the state. Also, states would be eligible to ask the federal government to pick up the whole tab.


The executive action signed by Trump does not reinstate the previous moratorium on evictions, which lapsed in July. The original ban covered mortgages that were backed by federal funds. 

The new measure only states that “the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the CDC shall consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” 

Payroll tax 

One important note is that this is a deferral, NOT a cut.

It defers the due date for the portion of those taxes paid by employees — 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare — through December 31. 

It applies to workers whose wages are less than $4,000 on a biweekly basis, or about $104,000 a year.

Student loans

This executive order does not need Congress or state government to implement. It directs the Education Department to extend the student loan relief granted in the CARES Act until the end of the year.

Currently, loan payments are paused and interest is suspended on federally-held student loans until September 30.

The President has made it clear that he welcomes congress back to the negotiation table for another go at a congress passed bill.

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JEM Contributor


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