8.10 COVID-19 Bulletin: President’s Executive Orders

President’s Executive Orders

As negotiations over another federal stimulus package have stalled on Capitol Hill, President Trump issued several Executive Orders over the weekend. The moves have a direct impact on both employers and employees, although the legality of the President’s actions is being challenged. As a result, much remains unclear. 

President Trump signed four Executive Orders: 

  • Employers can defer the payment of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020. Employees earning less than $100,000 a year are eligible. There is now a debate in Washington about what such a deferral does to both Social Security and Medicare payments. The Trump administration says money for the General Fund will be transferred to both the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds to make up the difference.   
  • The federal enhanced unemployment benefit is now $400 a week. Legislation passed by Congress and signed by Trump earlier this year included an additional $600 weekly payment for those collecting unemployment. That benefit expired at the end of July. The $400 federal benefit is on top of what someone would receive from state unemployment insurance and is set to run through the end of the year. The President’s Executive Order requires states to contribute 25% of the additional $400.  Some cash strapped states have already questioned where this funding will come from. Governor Cuomo has said the President’s Executive Order will cost New York $4 billion, “That’s just an impossibility. So none of this is real on the federal side. The NYS Department of Labor says it is currently assessing the President’s Executive Order.
       
  • The Trump administration will take measures to prevent residential evictions and foreclosures due to financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
  • The current zero percent interest rate and optional payment suspension for student loan borrowers have been extended through the end of the year.   

The BNP will continue to provide updates regarding the implementation and debate over the President’s Executive Orders. 

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The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to providing employers with the latest information and resources to help you deal with COVID-19 and its impact on our community, state and nation. Visit our Events and Resource pages as they are updated regularly to provide you with the most current information.

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