U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday urged a restart of congressional talks on extending coronavirus aid, saying executive actions taken by President Donald Trump a day earlier would have little immediate impact on Americans facing economic distress amid the pandemic. Yahaira Jacquez has details
Wall Street Journal:
Democrats called President Trump’s plan to bypass Congress and extend coronavirus economic relief insufficient and unconstitutional, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended the move and suggested efforts to block it could backfire politically.
Mr. Trump’s plan, made public on Saturday after lawmakers and the White House had failed to reach a deal on another aid package, calls for among other things funding $300 a week in special unemployment benefits, with an additional $100 coming from states.
Democrats had wanted to extend the $600 weekly additional benefits that were first approved in March and that expired last month, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and others said the plan not only didn’t go far enough but had breached congressional spending authority.
“Children are food insecure, families are at the risk of being evicted, the virus is moving like a freight train, even though the president has ignored and delayed and distorted what that is,” Mrs. Pelosi said on “Fox News Sunday.”
But with the November election approaching, any move to block the payments could backfire, Mr. Mnuchin suggested on the same program, adding that the White House was within its rights to move unilaterally.
“We’ve cleared with the Office of Legal Counsel all of these actions,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of Covid, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.”