Nancy Pelosi blasts Trump's executive orders as 'an illusion' that won't help struggling Americans

HOUSE Speaker Nancy Pelosi has slammed President Donald Trump's executive orders signed on Saturday as an "illusion."

She told Fox News on Sunday Trump's action — which people have questioned the legality of — was "unconstitutional slop."

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Trump on Saturday bypassed Congress and signed four executive orders to defer payroll taxes and replace the now-defunct $600-a-week unemployment benefit to $400.

His move came after Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement last week on a new coronavirus stimulus package before Congress heads off to their August recess.

Trump's orders were quickly criticized as unconstitutional from lawmakers, including from Republican Senator Ben Sasse, of Nebraska.

“The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop,” Sasse said.

“President Obama did not have the power to unilaterally rewrite immigration law with DACA, and President Trump does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law.“

On Sunday, Pelosi echoed Sasse's statement, saying: "No, in fact, what the president did is — I agreed what the Republican senator said — is unconstitutional slop."

The orders include a payroll tax holiday, eviction protections, extending the unemployment benefit and extending student loan deferments, and forgiving interest until the end of 2020.

Trump called the extra $400 per week unemployment benefit "generous," even though it's coming down from $600 passed earlier this year, but added "we want to take care of our people."

He said states will handle 25 percent of the cost for the unemployment benefit, while the federal government will pay for 75 percent.

Pelosi criticized the "weakness" of the executive action.

"While it has the illusion of saying we're going to have a moratorium on evictions, it says I'm gonna ask the folks in charge to study if that's feasible.

"While he says he's going to do the payroll tax, what he's doing is undermining Social Security and Medicare, so these are illusions," Pelosi said.

She said the orders "don't give the money in enhanced benefits, but puts a complicated formula there which will take a while, if at all, to accomplish to put money in the pockets of the American people."

On Friday, the White House rejected the Democrats' proposed $2trillion coronavirus relief package.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the offer was a "non-starter."

Earlier on Friday, Mnuchin met with Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Before their meeting, Pelosi and Schumer said during a press conference that they would lower the cost of their $3.4trillion bill by $1trillion if Republicans agreed to add $1trillion to their proposal.

House Democrats passed their $3.4trillion Heroes Act, the largest relief package seen in Congress for coronavirus relief, in May.

Democrats said their proposal for Republicans to raise their bill by $1trillion was met with an "absolutely not" from Meadows and Mnuchin.

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