Andy Puzder: Trump coronavirus executive orders aid struggling families, after Dems block action in Congress
President Trump showed once again Saturday that he places America and the American people first when he signed executive orders to provide much-needed coronavirus economic relief to struggling families. The president wisely rejected efforts by Democrats to play politics and use coronavirus legislation as a cover to enact their unrelated radical demands.
Trump clearly understands that COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has hurt millions of Americans since it arrived here from China. The pandemic has derailed the booming economy the president created with his policies of tax cuts and eliminating unnecessary and harmful government regulations, just as it has derailed economies in virtually every country in the world.
Trump approaches the disease as a problem to be solved — both on the medical front with Operation Warp Speed to rapidly discover and produce a COVID-19 vaccine and treatments, and on the economic front with the executive orders he signed Saturday and earlier actions.
Unfortunately, Democrats have made it increasingly obvious that they view the virus as an opportunity to demonize Trump and Republicans and to demand enactment of legislation pushing radical priorities that have nothing to do with helping Americans to deal with the pandemic.
The Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, has specifically admitted that he sees “an incredible opportunity to not just dig out of this crisis, but to fundamentally transform the country.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., also said sees the pandemic as “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
And therein lies the problem.
Republicans have been trying to negotiate a coronavirus relief bill with the Democrats who control the House of Representatives. But Democratic demands are so outrageous as to be intolerable, because they would cause long-term harm to our country.
This explains why President Trump had to act, as he did by signing four executive orders Saturday. The president wants to extend a lifeline to American families. The Democrats want to transform our nation to fit a leftist ideological vision they could never advance in normal times with a Republican in the White House and with a Republican Senate majority.
So with Democrats trying to hold the U.S. economy and the American people hostage to their increasingly radical political demands, President Trump’s put an end to their efforts. His executive orders will liberate American workers from the endless partisan gridlock in Congress.
In addition to extending enhanced unemployment benefits for Americans who have lost their jobs to the global pandemic, the president’s executive orders postpone federal student loan repayments to the end of the year, create a “payroll tax holiday” through the end of the year for workers earning less than $100,000 per year, and extend much-needed measures to protect families from eviction.
“I am taking action to provide an additional $400 a week in expanded [unemployment] benefits,” the president said Saturday, stressing that the American people are not at fault for the hardship inflicted by the virus. The federal government will pay $300 of those weekly benefits, and the president called on states to pick up the remaining $100 per week.
“Through these four actions, my administration will provide immediate and vital relief to Americans struggling in this difficult time,” Trump said. “We will also ensure that our economic comeback continues full speed ahead.”
Democrats should never have held economic relief legislation hostage or attempted to use it as a Trojan horse to advance their radical ideological objectives
Following the president’s signing of the executive orders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement: “Struggling Americans need action now. Since Democrats have sabotaged backroom talks with absurd demands that would not help working people, I support President Trump exploring his options to get unemployment benefits and other relief to the people who need them the most. Before the jobless benefits expired, Senate Republicans tried several times to extend them while talks continued. But [Senate Democratic] Leader [Chuck] Schumer declared that nobody could get help unless all of Democrats’ demands were met.”
McConnell added: “Democrats have continued to block all of it while holding out for non-COVID-related liberal demands like a huge tax cut for rich people in blue states and a massive slush fund for state and local governments that is many times the size of the actual coronavirus shortfall they are projected to face.”
Helping our country recover from the devastating coronavirus pandemic should be a bipartisan goal. Pandemics don’t discriminate based on politics, and Americans of all backgrounds and creeds fell victim to the economic lockdowns imposed as a result of the virus.
For that very reason, Democrats should never have held economic relief legislation hostage or attempted to use it as a Trojan horse to advance their radical ideological objectives. Yet regrettably, that is exactly what the Democrats tried to do by stuffing their proposed economic stimulus legislation with programs that have nothing to do with helping Americans recover from the impact of the pandemic.
The Democrats’ proposed legislation — called the HEROES Act — includes provisions to tilt the upcoming election in their favor with a ban on voter ID, the elimination of signature verification in federal elections and funding for national mail-in voting (for which the system is unprepared).
The Democrats would also release dangerous prisoners and illegal immigrants from detention, send stimulus help to illegal immigrants and provide a federal bailout for fiscally irresponsible Democratic-led cities and states. These provisions are unrelated to the financial difficulties American families are facing or to our country’s ongoing economic recovery.
Despite the best efforts of the White House and Republican lawmakers to reach across the aisle to secure an agreement for the American people, the Democrats’ congressional leadership was unwilling to compromise on what they view as a “tremendous opportunity” to advance their radical proposals. They put their ideology first, our country and our people last.
President Trump, however, is determined to continue leading our country toward prosperity — with or without the help of the Democratic Party.
During his Saturday press conference, the president announced that his team is already examining possible future initiatives to expedite America’s economic recovery through “substantial” tax relief for workers and families.
“We are further looking at additional tax cuts, including income tax relief and capital gains tax cuts,” Trump said, noting that the tax cuts will primarily target middle- and lower-income households.
President Trump has once again demonstrated that he the leader that America needs to make it out of these uncertain times. His decisive action is exactly what is required to cut through the Democrats’ Gordian knot of congressional intransigence.
Going forward, the Democrats would be well-advised to focus directly on relieving the hardships American families are facing, rather than transforming America to fit their increasingly leftist ideological vision.
This is something all Americans should keep in mind as we head to the polls or the mailbox to vote in the November election.
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