Schumer, Pelosi Dismiss Trump's Executive Actions: 'Not Even Workable'

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both warned that President Donald Trump's Saturday executive actions in response to the pandemic won't work and ultimately take money from workers, Social Security and Medicare.

Pelosi and Schumer responded Sunday morning to Trump's signing of several executive actions on extending federal unemployment, payroll tax cuts and other stimulus relief package payouts. Despite Congress having failed for weeks to come to any agreement, Pelosi said bluntly the Republicans simply "don't have the money" to follow through on what Trump signed.

"What he put forth is not even workable," Pelosi told CNN's State of the Union Sunday. "You're acting as if there's some great big thing the Republicans are proposing ... We were willing to come down $1 trillion, but that doesn't mean the needs of Americans have come down."

Pelosi said the Federal Reserve has repeatedly cautioned Washington lawmakers to pay individual Americans and businesses upfront before the country's financial crisis deepens. "Pay now or pay later," Pelosi said she was advised. She criticized Republicans for not renewing the $600 in weekly unemployment benefits, although she said Trump's $400 plan would be a compromise she'd at least consider versus the $200 put forth by congressional Republicans.

Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, said he'd "leave it up to the attorneys" whether Trump's COVID-19 executive actions are illegal, and instead called attention to the financial sources the president wants to withdraw from in order to pay out his orders.

"Social Security and Medicare trust funds are being actively depleted by Trump's plans," Schumer cautioned during his Sunday appearance on ABC News' This Week. "If you are a Social Security recipient or a Medicare recipient, you better watch out if Trump is re-elected."

"It doesn't do the job, it's not going to go into effect in most places for weeks or months because it's put together in such a crazy way," Schumer said Sunday. "If [Republicans] would just have renewed the $600 as we do in the HEROES bill through January things would flow smoothly.

Schumer said the payroll tax cut put forth by Trump is neither realistic nor beneficial because it's a "deferral," meaning it accumulates through January when it expires. "Employers are just going to continue to withhold the money. I've talked to some and they don't want their employees to be stuck a with a huge bill in December. It's not going to pump money into the economy."

Newsweek reached out to both Pelosi and Schumer's Washington offices for additional remarks Sunday morning as well as the White House.

During his Bedminster, New Jersey announcement of the executive actions, the president railed only against Democrats for failing to come to any stimulus relief package compromise in Congress. He warned the stock market and the economy would crash if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidential election in November, claiming only that he is guided by the "radical left."

trump pelosi schumer relief package
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both warned that President Donald Trump's Saturday executive actions flat-out "won't work" and ultimately take money from workers, Social Security and Medicare. MARK WILSON / Staff/Getty Images