CORONAVIRUS USA

Trump executive orders: when do they come into effect?

President Trump announced several executive orders on Saturday which undercut stimulus bill negotiations, when could they come into effect?

Trump executive orders: when do they come into effect?
JIM WATSON AFP

President Donald Trump signed several executive orders on Saturday in response to ongoing negotiations on a proposed new stimulus package which have divided Democrats and Republicans.

The executive order that was signed and three memoranda issued by the president in New Jersey yesterday included: a continuation of the unemployment benefit agreed as part of the CARES Act (reduced by a third from $600 to $400, and asked states to pick up 25% of the cost); a payroll tax cut (unpopular with many on both sides of the aisle); protection for evictions; and a freeze on student loan interest repayments.

The executive actions, however, could be challenged, vetoed and ultimately cancelled as there are legal question marks hanging over some of the orders which Trump announced. Some of the details of the orders and memoranda could be questioned by Congress and already we have seen how several top Democrats have harshly criticised the president’s move. It is still not known where Trump will find the money to fund the unemployment top-up extension for example as he does not have the legal authority to impose how money is spent, even during a national emergency.

Top Democrats criticise Trump's executive order

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, "Today's meager announcements by the president show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families. These policies provide little real help for families".

Pelosi also issued a joint statement with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to express their deep concern about the orders which they claim will seriously undermine the unemployed, sick and elderly members of society. 

"We're disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans' problems, the president instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors' Social Security and Medicare. Not only does the President’s announcement not actually extend the eviction moratorium, it provides no assistance to help pay the rent, which will only leave desperate families to watch their debt pile higher. Instead of passing a bill, now President Trump is cutting families’ unemployment benefits and pushing states further into budget crises, forcing them to make devastating cuts to life-or-death services."

Trump could be taken to task or even sued on two of the more controversial aspects of his executive orders - payroll tax payment deferral and how he intends to funds the unemployment benefits extension. All of that could slow down the process of Trump's orders coming into effect - and despite his brazen move, Trump has not ruled out the possibly that Democrats and Republicans can finally come together and agree on a new stimulus bill when talks resume this week. 

See also

$400 unemployment benefit: is it taxable

Trump executive orders: is a second stimulus check coming?

President Trump signs executive order: what is included?