President Trump said Friday he would defer the payroll tax until the end of the year, using an executive order.
The tax would continue to be deferred until the end of 2020, the president said, and would likely be retroactive from July 1.
He said that by the end of 2020 the payroll tax break could be extended.
“Hopefully I’ll be here to do the job,” Trump said, hinting at the results of Election Day.
The president also said he would extend unemployment benefits, defer student loan payments and interest, and extend the eviction moratorium as well as an order requiring health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
“If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage, I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief they need,” he said.
The president said that the lawyers were drawing up the executive orders and that they could be signed by the end of the week.
Asked whether he was concerned about the legality of his executive order, Trump replied, “No, not at all. You always get sued, everything you do you get sued … we’ll see.”
The president also declined to specify whether or not he would extend federal unemployment benefit checks at the full $600 a week.
But Trump said he was determined to help Americans still struggling with the virus and the cost of the economic shutdowns despite unprecedented obstruction from Congressional Democrats.
“Tragically Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer continue to insist on radical leftwing policies that have nothing to do with the China virus,” Trump said.
Pelosi and Schumer are demanding a $2.5 trillion package that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows described as a “blank check.”
Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued negotiations with Democrats throughout the week but ended Friday recommending that Trump act unilaterally.
“The Chief and I will recommend to the President, based upon our lack of activity today, that he move forward with some executive orders,” Mnuchin said to reporters on Capitol Hill before leaving for the evening.
The enhanced federal unemployment checks of $600 a week ran out on Friday.