• Our 360 Staff

Trump threatens to use Executive Order powers as Congress continues negotiations on more federal aid

Washington, DC – This morning House and Senate leaders maintained that an agreement will eventually be reached between the chambers on another round of coronavirus aid. CNBC reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “we will” find a solution, but big differences between the parties remain. The amount of unemployment insurance, “bailout” money for cash-strapped states and municipalities, and liability protections for businesses and organizations are still among the biggest obstacles in passing a bill.

Politico reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned his members that the Senate will be in session next week, delaying the usual August recess originally set to begin at the end of the week. He added that, “I think at some point here we’ll get to an agreement.” Some in the GOP caucus are giving the negotiations until Friday before urging President Donald Trump to take executive action.

Twitter post from @realDonaldTrump at10:56 am on Thursday, August 6, 2020

Meanwhile, in a Twitter video posted on Wednesday evening, Trump said his office was exploring executive orders “to provide protections against evictions” as well as a suspension of the payroll tax. A federal moratorium on evictions for those living in federally subsidized apartments expired on July 25. Most employees pay about 7.5 percent of their salary in payroll taxes, which fund Medicare, social security, and federal unemployment benefits.

Trump also said his administration had no interest in pursuing Democrats’ proposal of $1 trillion for cash strapped states and municipalities facing revenue shortfalls due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. While many Alabama county and municipal governments are feeling the strain of steep reductions in local revenues, the State of Alabama has weathered the economic fallout in relatively good shape. At this point, the State General Fund and Education Trust Fund are unlikely to require proration or mandatory budget cuts.

White House officials and top Democrats plan to meet this afternoon to continue to negotiations. Closer to home, Alabama reported an additional 1,626 cases today along with 12,012 new tests. The amount of tests is over double what was reported for Wednesday, though the 7-day average of new cases continues to slowly decline.

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