Trump’s Executive Orders on Payroll Taxes and Unemployment Benefits Are Very Popular

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, July 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Most Americans say they approve of President Donald Trump’s executive orders suspending the collection of payroll taxes and enhancing state unemployment benefits.

Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of the executive orders signed by Trump Saturday, according to a poll from the Economist and YouGov. That includes 26 percent of Americans who said they strongly approve of the move.

Trump signed a series of executive orders at the end of last week after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the president that negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) and Senate minority leader (D-NY) over a coronavirus relief bill had gone nowhere. The orders partially restored the federal bonus to jobless benefits, providing for $400 in additional benefits instead of the $600 bonus that expired at the end of July. They also suspended the collection of payroll taxes, which should boost take-home pay for many workers.

Democrats have attacked  Trump’s orders, arguing that they usurp Congressional authority over federal spending. Administration officials say the orders only redirect spending Congress has already authorized.

The orders have the greatest support among Hispanic Americans, fifty-nine percent of whom approve of the orders. Fifty-seven percent of white Americans approve. Forty-five percent of black Americans approve.

Men are more likely to approve of the orders, with 26 percent strongly approving and 34 percent somewhat approving. Twenty-five percent women strongly approve and 25 percent somewhat approve.
Wealthier Americans are less likely to approve of the orders. Only 50 percent of Americans earning $100,000 or more approve, perhaps a reflection of the fact that the payroll tax cut does not apply to Americans earning more than $104,000 and wealthier Americans are less likely to have lost their jobs. Fifty-eight percent of Americans earning under $50,000 approve and 62 percent of Americans earning more than $50,000 and less than $100,000 approve.

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