Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are calling out President Donald Trump after he signed executive orders that defer payroll taxes for some Americans and extend unemployment benefits.
Trump decided to bypass Congress on Saturday after negotiations on a new coronavirus relief package had collapsed.
The president said the payroll tax cut would apply to those earning less than $100,000 a year. He said that if he is reelected in November, he would look at the possibility of making the payroll tax permanent. He said the employee portion of the payroll tax would be deferred from Aug. 1 through the end of the year.
Trump, however, remained silent on how he would fund the Medicare and Social Security benefits that the 7% payroll tax on employee income covers, which drew the ire of those who represent Massachusetts on Capitol Hill.
The president also extended federal unemployment benefits for Americans after Congress allowed them to lapse on Aug. 1. But those benefits are being cut form $600 per week to $400 a week, and he is asking states to contribute 25% of that new amount.
"Don't let the occupant of the White House distract you. He just unilaterally cut Social Security and your unemployment benefits. In the middle of a pandemic," tweeted Rep. Ayanna Pressley, of the 7th District.
"We need real action. It shouldn't be about phony solutions to get through an election, but that's exactly what the president's executive order is," tweeted Rep. Bill Keating, of the 9th District. "It's also providing false hopes for Americans on the brink, and that's cruel."
"He cuts unemployment, threatens Social Security and provides no support for testing, schools or rent payments. This isn't relief. It's a con job," tweeted Rep. Katherine Clark, of the 5th District. "Put American families first, return to the negotiating table."
"Today, the president signed proposals that threaten Social Security and encourage Senate Republicans to abdicate their responsibility to unemployed Americans," reads a tweet from the House Ways & Means Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Richard Neal, of the 1st District.
"Donald Trump wants to dismantle Social Security. He doesn't care," tweeted Rep. Joe Kennedy III, of the 4th District.
All 11 members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are Democrats.