President Donald Trump said Monday that he was “going to stop” evictions by issuing a moratorium as negotiations in Congress bog down over a larger federal coronavirus relief plan.
The White House is also looking into whether Trump can unilaterally extend the enhanced unemployment benefits that were part of the federal government’s pandemic relief legislation passed in March, according to Bloomberg.
Democratic and Republican leaders are currently at an impasse over a proposed relief package. The matter of evictions and $600-a-week unemployment benefits are major points of disagreement. Both measures have now expired.
Trump, referring to the impasse, said Democrats are “not interested in unemployment [and evictions.”
“A lot of people are going to be evicted. But I’m going to stop it, because I’ll do it myself if I have to,” Trump said. “I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders and we’re looking at that very seriously right now.”
Trump did not offer details on an executive action to that effect.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a $3.5 trillion aid package in May, while the Republican-controlled Senate introduced a $1 trillion package last week.
The House’s stimulus plan would extend the enhanced unemployment benefits created in March, allowing unemployed workers to claim an extra $600 weekly. Republican leaders have argued for a reduced supplement as low as $200 per week, claiming the extra benefits discourage workers from returning to their jobs.
On Monday, Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer for negotiations over the relief package. [Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch