President Trump's four executive orders to provide Americans financial relief from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic amid stalled negotiations in the Senate are "a real game-changer" for the president, Stephen Moore, a member of President Trump's economic recovery task force, said on Sunday.
“All of a sudden Trump has flipped the table on Nancy Pelosi,” Moore, an economist at FreedomWorks, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday. “Those negotiations were going nowhere.”
On Saturday, President Trump signed the four executive actions, which included $400-per-week in supplemental unemployment aid. Those who were unemployed were getting $600-a-week extra until the federal program expired at the end of July.
Moore admitted that he is “not wild” about the unemployment benefits of $400 a week and said he thinks “we should go back to the old unemployment insurance system.”
He did acknowledge, however, that “$400 is a lot better than 600.”
“We have a situation right now where about two out of three workers who are unemployed are getting paid more money than the people who are working,” Moore said on Sunday, explaining that is “not good economics.”
Trump’s executive action would encourage federal efforts to help renters and homeowners avoid eviction or foreclosure for failing to make their monthly payments.
Congress had passed the CARES Act in March, which issued a 120-day temporary eviction moratorium on renters in federal housing assistance programs or those who live in a property with a federally backed mortgage, but that eviction moratorium expired in July.
Trump’s executive action also suspends federal student loan payments and sets interest rates to 0% through Dec. 31, 2020. The current student loan relief programs were to expire on Sept. 30.
In addition, Trump deferred the payroll tax from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, for employees making $100,000 or less a year. The tax, deducted from workers' paychecks, funds Social Security and Medicare. Employees would need to repay the federal government once the tax holiday ends without further action.
Moore explained that “now every single worker in America,” including the first responders and truckers, who he called “the real heroes of this economy,” will get “a much deserved 7.5% pay raise starting immediately.”
“That is a very, very positive thing,” Moore said.
He went on to explain that “this is not a tax cut” and said that “this is suspension of the tax for the rest of the year.”
“But the president said yesterday that it is his full intention in his second term to then forgive those taxes so it becomes a de facto tax cut,” Moore said. “I think it is brilliant.”
Moore also noted on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants to give billions of dollars “to blue states and cities.”
“That is simply unfair to the states that have acted fiscally responsibly,” Moore said.
Senate Republicans unveiled the “HEALS Act,” their version of a fresh round of coronavirus relief, two weeks ago. HEALS stands for the package’s focus on Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection and Schools.
The $1 trillion Republican bill is the alternative to the House’s “Heroes Act,” the $3 trillion relief legislation passed in May. The “Heroes Act” was the most expensive legislation approved by that body in history and includes $915 billion in state and local aid that could prevent layoffs of public workers, like first responders and teachers.
Pelosi slammed the executive actions President Trump took this weekend to provide assistance for Americans struggling amid the coronavirus as weak and an "illusion" on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, as she defended Democrats' stance asking for trillions more in aid as negotiations with the White House and Senate Republicans have stalled.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.