There’s a lot of hoopla here about constitutional law from you bastions of legal expertise. All you really want to know is if Donnie Pump’s unilateral actions are actually going to be allowed to roll out. The answer: Yes.
There were four executive orders signed and I’ll go through them each in turn but 3/4 are on sound constitutional ground with the exception being the federal student loan payment deferrals.
- $300 extra unemployment benefit + $100 from the states.
The funds are being drawn from the disaster relief fund that he can basically do whatever he wants with. His call for $100 to be provided by the states is basically a request. I don’t know of any repercussions on the states that don’t provide the $100 so in reality the benefit you can bet on is $300.
- Eviction moratorium and such stuff
This is such a vague EO that it’s probably constitutional because it doesn’t really say anything. It calls on a few executive agencies to use available resources to help out tenents and landlords. Not really any specifics.
- Deferred payroll taxes.
It’s a ~6% difference on paychecks less than 100k and as it stands it needs to be paid back. The fact that they need to be paid back is what kind of makes this basically constitutional. Only congress can make tax cuts so this is definitely not that. It’s just a deferral. Employers are almost certainly going to withhold exactly as they have been doing unless the employee requests it because the liability and uncertainty going forward is too high.
- Student loan deferral extension.
Only applies to federal student loans and not federally backed private student loans. Stopping interest accruement here is probably not constitutional but seriously who is going to sue to block this?
Congrats on reading this far. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have realized that, yes, you can bet on these EOs actually coming into effect but the actual impact on the broader economy and the stock market may not be that big of a deal.
TDLR: the 4 EOs, though more constitutionally sound than on first appearance, are also going to be less impactful than on first appearance and certainly less impactful than a comprehensive bill from the legislature. It’s a weak ass bandaid.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t necessarily represent the views of IWB.