Trump takes executive action on economic relief
This is America right now by the numbers. Some five million people have confirmed Corona virus infections. Just yesterday, 55,000 people tested positive. Covad, 19 killed 1100 people in the last 24 hours, and more than 30 million people are relying on some form of unemployment benefit. Congress has failed so far to agree on a new relief bill. So yesterday, President Trump signed executive orders to extend a number of temporary economic measures, and all of this is happening as we race toward an election in November. We're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hi, Mara. Hi, Lulu. So the president spent a lot of time slamming Democratic lawmakers yesterday and rolled out economic relief that we should say is temporary but aren't Many Senate Republicans dead set against extending these extra benefits. Yes, they are, but they're also supposedly against any president. Usurping Congress is constitutional power of the purse that is the power to tax and spend. But politically for the moment, at least, this is a point for Trump. He gets to say Congress couldn't or wouldn't act. But I did, even though there might be a lot less than meets the eye with some of these executive actions. It's unclear if the unemployment extension will actually happen. And when it comes to the eviction relief, for instance. The memo he signed merely tells federal agencies to quote consider if evictions should be stopped, so maybe less there than meets the eye. Meanwhile, we should note that the pace of the presidential races, of course, picking up and Vice President Joe Biden is giving more interviews and doing more public speaking and Republicans are watching. And they have AH, weaponized some of Biden's answers. Well, some violins, answers have been what we call gaffes. He made another one while answering your question. Lulu on a panel consisting of black and Latino journalists. You asked him a question that would was very important to Latino voters in Florida. You asked him if he would reengage with Cuba. Here's what he said. What you all know, but most people don't know. Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is incredibly diverse community. With incredibly different attitudes about different things. Unlike the African American community, why bring up African Americans at all, and suggests that they are monolithic in their views. So this is another gas. Biden's recent gaffes are often about African Americans. Remember, he said. If you're voting for Trump quote, you ain't black. They're always unprompted. And it's inexplicable, given the support he has among African Americans, given that African American voters saved his candidacy, But is this a winning strategy for the GOP? Well, look, they depend on Biden making gaffes. They're hoping to use them against him. But the big question is. Maybe this is like 2016 when all of the outrageous things that Trump said that Democrats thought would hurt him. Didn't Biden's poll numbers are pretty steady? Why? Maybe because this race is a referendum on the incumbent, and the big question is, Will it stay that way? Will trump succeed in making this race into a binary choice?