U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, joined by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaks to reporters in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2020.
Erin Scott | Reuters
Top Democrats on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s executive actions on coronavirus relief as “absurdly unconstitutional” and “way off base.”
The measures, which Trump signed on Saturday and sidestep Congress after lawmakers failed to reach a deal on Friday, provide an additional $400 per week unemployment benefits among other relief measures such as a temporary payroll tax cut.
Trump said the federal government would fund most of the benefits with disaster relief money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He also called on states, many of which are already suffering from budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, to cover a quarter of the cost.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lambasted the move in interviews with “Fox News Sunday” and CNN’s “State Of The Union.”
Pelosi called the president’s actions “unconstitutional slop,” referencing a statement made a day earlier by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.
“While he says he’s going to do the payroll tax, what he’s doing is undermining Social Security and Medicare, so these are illusions,” she said on “Fox