Nancy Pelosi, Out-Maneuvered by Executive Orders
Author: Greg Valliere
August 10, 2020
THE PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS for pandemic relief are confusing and at least partly unconstitutional, but that misses the point. The reeling public doesn’t care whether relief comes from Congress or executive orders — the public wants something done, and Donald Trump gets that.
IN THIS BITTERLY PARTISAN CITY, virtually everything coming from Congress and the White House is designed to affect the next election. Based on this very cynical premise, Donald Trump has the upper hand — as Democrats launch lawsuits to block his executive orders.
SO THE PRESIDENT WILL TELL VOTERS that he wants to help on unemployment relief, he wants to delay evictions, he wants lower payroll taxes, while his opponents do not want this relief — in fact, they’re suing to block it.
THIS OVERLOOKS TWO HUGE FACTORS: There’s a need for far more aid immediately as the jobs recovery levels off, and Trump’s actions probably will get struck down in the courts by year-end.
BUT NO ONE IS FOCUSING on the environment at year-end; everyone is aiming for Nov. 3. Joe Biden will insist that Trump’s plan on the payroll tax jeopardizes
Social Security; Republicans will insist that Trump’s executive orders will help the
NANCY PELOSI, LONG CONSIDERED A FORMIDABLE NEGOTIATOR, may be losing her touch. She passed a ridiculously bloated bill in May, with aid for marijuana growers, and now she thinks the public will side with her — but the White House can point to action, however dubious Constitutionally, while her surrogates sue to block aid.
WHAT’S NEXT? Pelosi and Chuck Schumer may have to capitulate and propose a new package; the White House is content to simply move on executive orders. For decades, Trump has made a mockery of the courts, delaying and appealing. He will run out the clock this fall.
ALL OF THIS MUST BE TERRIBLY CONFUSING for the Federal Reserve; which wants more aid now; for the markets, which may have to factor in a fresh economic slump; for the states, which don’t have the money to beef up unemployment benefits; and for businesses, which may not get more aid (or liability protection).
BUT THIS MATTERS LITTLE TO THE POLITICIANS: Trump knows the voters don’t understand executive orders, but the GOP can portray Trump as working to get things done, while the Democrats sue to block any aid. Millions of Americans who need assistance are mere pawns in this pre-election posturing.
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