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Presidential Executive Action Seeks to Address Financial Hardships Resulting from COVID-19

August 10, 2020

Late on Saturday, August 8, President Trump signed an Executive Order and three Presidential Memoranda related to the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consider whether freezing evictions is a reasonable strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It also directs the Secretaries of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development to identify funding sources to provide temporary assistance to renters and homeowners, and to find strategies to minimize evictions and foreclosures resulting from hardships caused by COVID-19.

Additionally, President Trump signed three Presidential Memoranda, which:

  • Continues for at least 60 days the suspension of student loan payments and temporarily sets student loan interest rates to 0 percent
  • Directs the Treasury Secretary to defer payroll tax obligations through December 31, 2020
  • Authorizes the “Other Needs Assistance Program,” which in part directs states to allocate additional financial relief to impacted residents, and temporarily authorizes an additional $400 in biweekly unemployment assistance

President Trump took these actions as Congressional leaders and White House officials have been unable to reach an agreement on the latest COVID-19 relief legislation. These actions are likely to face multiple legal challenges.

For more information, contact Warren Kampf, HAP’s senior vice president, legislative advocacy and external affairs.