Republican Senator Ben Sasse is joining House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in criticizing President Trump for signing four executive orders for providing unemployment benefits to Americans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Sasse released a statement that accused Trump of exceeding his constitutional authority, overstepping the role of Congress to provide financial relief.
“President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law. Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress,” the Republican said. “The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop.”
“The swamp should stop pretending there’s some thoughtful negotiation happening here,” he added per Axios. “The White House is trying to solve bad polling by agreeing to indefensibly bad debt. This proposal is not targeted to fix precise problems — it’s about Democrats and Trumpers competing to outspend each other.”
GOP Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) says Trump is violating the Constitution:
“President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law. Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress.” pic.twitter.com/6voOJSMNzs
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) August 9, 2020
Pelosi and Schumer released a joint statement criticizing Trump for failing to negotiate with them.
The president gave them more than a week to come to an agreement since additional unemployment benefits expired at the end of July but no agreement was made.
Democrats initially requested $3.2 trillion with some of the money going to major cities across the country that are rebuilding after protesters caused millions of dollars of damage.
“Today’s meager announcements by the president show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families,” the duo said. “We’re disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, the President instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security and Medicare.”
They continued: “These policy announcements provide little real help to families. For instance, not only does the President’s announcement not actually extend the eviction moratorium, it provides no assistance to help pay the rent, which will only leave desperate families to watch their debt pile higher. Instead of passing a bill, now President Trump is cutting families’ unemployment benefits and pushing states further into budget crises, forcing them to make devastating cuts to life-or-death services.”
The congressional leaders also said the orders do not do enough, missing some of their key priorities.
“Furthermore, these announcements do nothing to increase testing, nothing to reopen schools, nothing to put food on the table for hungry families, nothing to prevent heroes being laid off across state and local government, nothing to protect the Postal Service or the integrity of our elections, nothing on many critical needs of the American people,” they said.
Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 8, 2020