14 Aug National executive orders defer payroll taxes, suspend federal student loan repayment and interest accrual
The following is an update from AVMA regarding COVID legislation.
Congress has hit a standstill on bipartisan negotiations for the fourth coronavirus relief package, being referred to as C4. Over the weekend, President Trump responded to the stalemate by issuing a series of executive orders to respond to COVID-19.
The series of executive orders provide for the deferment of payroll taxes until the end of the year for individuals making less than $104,000 annually; extend the federal unemployment insurance weekly benefit at $400 of which the states are required to contribute 25% or $100; and provide eviction and foreclosure protections to renters and homeowners. The president also issued an executive order to extend the suspension on federal student loan repayment and interest accrual through the end of the year. Currently, a federal loan repayment and interest accrual suspension is in place through September 30, 2020.
Outside of the federal student loan order, the executive actions present complications around implementation and uptake and are expected to be challenged in the courts.
Meanwhile, talks will continue between Democrats, Republicans, and the White House as they attempt to find a compromise on the total cost of C4 package and its contents. The House Democrats passed a comprehensive COVID-19 package in May, totaling about $3.5 trillion. However, Senate Republicans, citing the mounting deficit and that there are funds from the last COVID legislation that have not been spent, would like a more targeted approach.
Right now, it is not clear how Congress and the Trump Administration will bridge the divide. As we inch closer to September, it will become more difficult to strike bipartisan compromise on such a large package with elections looming.