Administration

Hillary Clinton labels Trump coronavirus executive actions a ‘stunt’

Hillary Clinton on Sunday said President Trump’s executive actions on coronavirus relief were a “stunt,” calling the orders both unconstitutional and a “diversion” from ongoing negotiations in Congress.

“[I]t’s a stunt. There’s no doubt about it. It’s most likely, as even Republican senators have said, unconstitutional, bypassing the Congress, trying to spend money he has no authority to direct,” Clinton said on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.” “But it’s also meant to be a big diversion from the hard work the Congress should be engaged in to provide the kind of relief that tens of millions of Americans need.”

The three memoranda and one executive order announced by the president this weekend include actions suspending the payroll tax and extending the federal unemployment plus-up at a reduced rate, as well as an evictions moratorium and a freeze on student loan payments.

Democratic leaders have blasted the actions as dubiously legal and ineffective in replacing actual legislation. They have particularly criticized the unemployment extension, which provides $400 a week rather than $600 and would require state governments to provide 25 percent of the payment.

“So, yes, it was a stunt. Most likely unconstitutional. He doesn’t really have the authority to do what he tried,” Clinton said. “But he sent a signal to voters that, you know, if you were, unfortunately, unlucky enough to have him be president again, you can watch what he is going to do to Social Security and Medicare. And it’s going to hurt not just elderly Americans but every American.”

Clinton also addressed former Vice President Joe Biden’s forthcoming announcement on his vice presidential candidate, saying she was “excited about” the women in the mix, who reportedly include Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.).

“But I think people have to understand that we are up against a wanna-be authoritarian who has already hurt our country, our institutions, our rule of law, has already scapegoated so many different groups of people,” she added. We just have to defeat Donald Trump. And we all have to do everything possible to make that happen.”

Tags Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Gretchen Whitmer Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Tammy Duckworth Val Demings

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