US President Donald Trump said Thursday he wanted to declare a moratorium on tenant evictions as negotiations bogged down in Congress to reach a gigantic new plan to support the economy, ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“I will do it, yes (…). I will do it concerning the evictions ”, indicated Donald Trump, without further details, on the radio WTAM 1100.
Congress approved in March a massive plan to support the economy that included a moratorium to prevent the evictions of millions of Americans hit by the crisis and no longer able to pay their rent. But it came to an end at the end of July.
Tightened by the expiry of the US presidential election in less than three months, negotiations to reach a new support plan remain unsuccessful after two weeks of daily meetings.
The White House warned that if no agreement was found by Friday, Donald Trump could act by decree on certain pressing points: these tenant evictions but also an extension of unemployment insurance paid by the federal state in supplement those of the 50 states, and a temporary reduction in wage costs.
Several trillion dollars separate the support plans proposed so far by the Democrats and the Republicans: the latter presented at the end of July an envelope of 1000 billion dollars, while the Democrats had adopted in May, in the House, their own bill that amounts to $ 3 trillion.
Among the major points of contention is the unemployment benefit of $ 600 per week, which was created in March to help millions of newly unemployed cope with the deep crisis caused by the pandemic, and which ended on July 31. .
For some Republicans, this check discourages the unemployed from looking for a job and they therefore propose to lower it to $ 200. The White House is negotiating a higher envelope, around $ 400, but Democrats on Thursday reaffirmed they wanted $ 600.
In total, 32 million people benefited from it in mid-July. At the same time last year, 1.7 million Americans were receiving unemployment assistance.
The White House is currently negotiating directly with the Democrats, the majority in the House of Representatives. But any deal will then have to satisfy the Republicans, who control the Senate.