Ex-Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank chief calls Trump coronavirus relief orders 'helpful ... if they're legal'

'If we had to stick with the executive orders, and if they're legal, that would be at least a step in the right direction'

President Trump’s executive action on coronavirus relief should be "helpful" to working Americans, if it is allowed to go into effect, former Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart told FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” Monday.

Continue Reading Below

“I think the $400 if it's actually delivered, will be helpful in lieu of a $600 weekly payment,” he said. “Obviously, [there is] some question about whether it's constitutional, whether it's usurping the role of Congress and the $100 supposed to come from the states seems to be in question ... But if we had to stick with the executive orders and if they're legal, that would be at least a step in the right direction.”

TRUMP TAKING EXECUTIVE ACTION ON ECONOMIC STIMULUS 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL': REP. PHILLIPS

President Donald Trump prepares to sign four executive orders during a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Lockhart raised the possibility that Trump’s push will be a “spur to action” for Congress, compelling them to complete stimulus legislation within the next week.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

The most important action Congress should focus on fulfilling, he said, is getting money into the pockets of Americans who need it most.

“If we don't have relief that meets their needs, then that's going to certainly redound to difficulty in terms of consumption,” he said. “And you're going to have a lot of Americans who are really in fairly dire straits. So I think it's a choice between a couple of very adverse scenarios. One is fiscal and the other is general economic ... But the immediate problem is to help these Americans through this period. And I think you need to have stimulus or relief.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS