Trump takes executive action to address economy amid pandemic

The president’s order includes unemployment relief, extends eviction moratoriums, cuts payroll taxes, and defers interest on federal student loans.
3:02 | 08/08/20

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Transcript for Trump takes executive action to address economy amid pandemic
We move on now to American families struggling during the pandemic. President trump taking executive action today, side-stepping congress after stimulus talks between the white house and Democrats collapsed. The president acting on his own and what he now says he's promising to do with that $600 supplement at the heart of the stalemate. Here's ABC white house correspondent Rachel Scott. Reporter: Tonight, president trump taking matters into his own hands. Therefore, I'm taking executive action, we've had it. Reporter: Blaming Democrats for failing to come to the table. Nancy Pelosi and chuck Schumer have chosen to hold this vital assistance hostage on behalf of very extreme partisan demands. Reporter: The president promising to restart unemployment benefits but cutting those weekly checks to $400, to be paid in part by the states. Extending eviction moratoriums. Deferring interest on federal student loans. And enacting payroll tax cut us, something opposed by lawmakers in both parties. The president side-stepping congress, after negotiations for coronavirus relief bill collapsed. It was a disappointing meeting. We did not make any progress today. Reporter: Promising today's move will take care of this entire situation. Through these four actions, my administration will provide immediate and vital relief to Americans struggling in this difficult time. Reporter: But the constitution gives congress, not the president, control of federal spending. He couldn't say if states had signed on to help fund these benefits, and in the face of legal challenges, suffering Americans like Genevieve, who owns a restaurant in Washington, D.C., are pleading for help now. When we lose small businesses, we really lose a lot more than just that one business. The way it feels is like, we're being asked to rebuild a house on sand that is shifting under us all the time. Reporter: When will this relief get in the hands of Americans that need it? What date? We think it's going to be very rapid. We want it to be very rapid. It's going to be distributed in a way that -- whichever the fastest way, there are various methods and it will be rapidly distributed. Reporter: If legal action is brought against you, why not just work with congress on this deal? Well, I'm not saying they're not going to come back and negotiate, they might very well come back and negotiate. Reporter: Americans want to know when they're going to see this relief. Very soon. They're going to see it very soon. There it is, right there. Excuse me, excuse me. There it is, right there. Reporter: We just heard how We just heard how important this is from that restaurant owner in your story. Rachel Scott joining us now. Rachel, you were pressing the president right there, and Democrats are already blasting this move, saying the proposed $400 a week isn't enough? Reporter: That's exactly Democrats wanted to see those $600 weekly unemployment checks extended. They say the president doesn't have the authority to take these executive actions, saying if he was serious about wanting to help Americans, that he would return to the negotiating table and said the president will likely be challenged in court, Tom. Rachel Scott with those major developments tonight from the white house. Rachel, thank you for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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