President Donald Trump signaled on Friday evening that he was on the verge of issuing executive orders to end a stalled stimulus package with Congressional Democrats, but will no longer be enacted.
Trump said the orders could be issued before next week. "They are being drawn by the lawyers," said Trump.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had previously announced that they would recommend that the President press ahead with unilateral action.
Trump said he would postpone wage tax retrospectively to July 1 by the end of the year. The president has long supported lowering this tax, but critics say it means nothing for the 16 million Americans who have been affected by the pandemic.
Unemployment benefits would also be extended through the end of the year, the president said, but refused to say how much money unemployed Americans would receive. He said he had the money to pay for the services.
Trump said he would also postpone student loan programs and pay interest "until further notice" and extend the eviction moratorium.
The president said he would take steps "if the Democrats continue to take the bill hostage".
The Treasury Secretary said he and Meadows were ready to resume talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer if the Democrats made any new proposals.
"In the meantime, we'll be taking executive orders to try to relieve some of the pain people are having," said Meadows. “This is not a perfect answer. We'll be the first to say that. But it is all we can do and what the President can do within his executive power, and we will encourage him to do so. "
Democrats passed a coronavirus stimulus package worth $ 3.4 trillion in house. The Republicans had countered with a $ 1 trillion plan. Democrats said they offered a $ 2 billion compromise but were turned down. The White House has continued to press the Democrats to pass a partial treaty.
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Trump had told reporters on Thursday that the order could come on Saturday morning.
"Some things he can do legally by executive order, others he can probably do, but could be challenged in court (question here is who will challenge) and others he could do, but with minimal economic impact," said Bill Hoagland. Senior Vice President of the Bipartisan Policy Center and former long-time Republican household clerk told MarketWatch in an email.
When asked if he would reach Pelosi, Trump said, "We'll see."
"We got it out. We finally made it," said the President.
The major US equity benchmarks closed a little higher on Friday as investors watched the business cycle negotiations and digested a better-than-expected July job report with the S&P 500
plus 0.1% and the Dow industrials
Gain of 0.2%. Both indices posted their sixth consecutive gains on Friday.