News Flash

Federal Government

Posted on: August 11, 2020

President Trump Takes Steps to Address COVID-19 Relief

On Saturday, President Trump signed an Executive Order and three presidential memorandums after talks between the Administration and Democratic leaders on a new COVID-19 relief package broke down. The Democratic leaders are pushing for the HEROES Act ($3 trillion) while the White House is looking to stay at $1 trillion.

Temporary Relief for Wage-Earners

The Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster instructs the Treasury Department to temporarily suspend collection of employees’ payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare payments) for those earning under $104,000 a year, from September 1 through the end of the year. Absent action by Congress to change the law, employees would be responsible to make up for these deferred payments in the future.

Possible Temporary Boost in Unemployment Benefits

The Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 looks to address the July expiration of the $600 a week federal supplement to state unemployment benefits. It would divert $44 billion of FEMA Disaster Relief Funding to a program that could add $400 a week to state unemployment benefits. Federal FEMA funding would cover $300 of the total if states agree to provide the other $100. The memo orders the aid to continue through December 27, or until funding is exhausted.

Possible Eviction Protections

The Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners asks Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield to “consider” whether an eviction ban is needed. (The previous ban, a part of the CARES Act, expired at the end of last month.) The order also asks Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to identify any and all available funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners struggling to meet their monthly rental or mortgage obligation. It doesn’t promise more aid.

Temporary Student Loan Relief

The Memorandum on Continued Student Loan Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic waives all interest on student loans held by the federal government through the end of 2020. Payment on loan principal will be due on December 31. Full payments (principal and interest) would resume, effective January 1, 2021.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Federal Government

Local Aid Crucial for Economic Recovery

Posted on: August 25, 2020

Time is Running Out for the 2020 Census

Posted on: August 14, 2020

Call for Federal Lifeline

Posted on: May 22, 2020

HEROES Act Includes Hometown Help

Posted on: May 15, 2020

Week of May 4 COVID-19 Update

Posted on: May 8, 2020

Possible Help for Seasonal Businesses

Posted on: April 30, 2020

New Federal Help for Local Businesses

Posted on: April 29, 2020

Congress Considers Local Aid Bills

Posted on: April 17, 2020

CARES Act Information Update

Posted on: April 3, 2020

CARES Bill Follow-up

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Federal CARES Act Analysis Continues

Posted on: March 27, 2020

Delays on Gateway Continue

Posted on: March 10, 2020