White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows didn’t answer the question but created the false impression that Trump can extend expanded unemployment benefits with an executive order.
Meadows said on CNN’s The Situation Room, “Well, we’ve been looking very closely at that with legal counsel and getting opinions on that. And because of some of the flexibility we have from the previous CARES Act as well as the executive privilege that the president enjoys widely, we believe that we can address those two things. He will address those two things. So the good news for your viewers is if congress can’t get it done, the president of the United States will.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows dances around the question when asked if Trump can extend expanded unemployment benefits, and stop evictions with an executive order because Trump can't. pic.twitter.com/wTiVNRjyCI
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 5, 2020
Blitzer asked a simple yes or no question, and Meadows could give him a straight answer. Trump does not have the authority to appropriate funds. This has been settled when federal courts have ruled that Trump can’t steal funds that were appropriated to the military by Congress to pay for his wall. Trump can’t guarantee expanded unemployment benefits for every unemployed American with an executive order. Only an act of Congress can appropriate those funds.
Trump also doesn’t have the power through executive action to halt all evictions. Executive actions only cover the Executive Branch. They aren’t laws that Trump can pass unilaterally.
As a former member of Congress, Mark Meadows knows better, and he is intentionally lying to the American people.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association