Hillary Clinton joined the chorus of Democrats who criticized President Trump’s executive orders on Saturday – calling them “stunt” and “unconstitutional.”
Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, weighed in on Trump’s executive orders during an appearance on MSNBC’s “AM Joy”.
“It’s a waterfall,” she says. “There is no doubt about it, it is highly likely, as even Republican senators have said, unconstitutional, to bypass Congress, by trying to spend money it does not have power to lead. ”
WHAT ARE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FOUR EXECUTIVE ORDERS RELATED TO CORONAVIRUS?
She added, “It’s also meant to be a big diversion from the hard work Congress should be engaged in to provide the kind of relief that tens of millions of Americans need.”
Trump’s executive orders, which have been widely criticized by Democrats and even some Republicans, followed the collapse of negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus bailout. Bypassing Congress, Trump deferred payroll taxes and replaced an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount.
Trump’s orders encroached on Congressional control of federal spending and seemed likely to face legal challenges. The president deemed his actions necessary as lawmakers were unable to come to an agreement to plunge more money into the struggling economy, which put his re-election in November at risk.
Trump has decided to continue paying additional federal unemployment benefit for millions of Americans without work during the outbreak. However, his order required up to $ 400 in payments each week, a third less than the $ 600 people received. How many people would receive the benefit and how long it could take to happen were open questions.
The old unemployment benefit, which expired August 1, was fully funded by Washington, but Trump is asking states to now cover 25%. He seeks to set aside $ 44 billion in previously approved disaster assistance to help states, but said it would be up to states to determine how much, if any, to fund, so that the benefits could be even less.
Many states have already faced budget shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic and would struggle to meet the new obligation.
Trump hopes the four executive orders he signed will signal Americans that he is acting where Congress does not want to tackle the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted nearly every aspect of American life. It is unclear what the economic impact of his actions will be, and his orders do not address several areas that have been part of congressional negotiations, including funding for schools and state and local governments.
While the orders have been flatly rejected by Democrats – with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., calling them “skinny” – they have also saw opposition from some Republican critics of Trump.
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The use of executive actions drew criticism from Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
“The pen and phone theory of executive legislation is an unconstitutional slant,” said Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary and Finance juries. He added that Trump “does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law. Under the Constitution, this power rests with the American people acting through their members of Congress.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.