Photo of Trump signing a memorandum
President Trump signing a memorandum for continued student loan payment relief on Saturday. Photo courtesy of The White House / flickr.com

The Senate and the House of Representatives failed to agree on a new COVID-19 relief bill before the scheduled August recess, leaving many Americans wondering when and how they can receive further financial assistance moving forward.

In response, President Donald Trump signed an executive order this weekend, urging officials to “consider” measures to temporarily halt evictions, and three memoranda to defer payroll tax obligations, continue student loan relief and provide unemployment benefits with contributions from each state.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a statement pointing out Trump’s failure to fully comprehend the seriousness and urgency of the pandemic for working families.

“Not only does the President’s announcement not actually extend the eviction moratorium, it provides no assistance to help pay the rent, which will only leave desperate families to watch their debt pile higher,” the statement says. “Instead of passing a bill, now President Trump is cutting families’ unemployment benefits and pushing states further into budget crises, forcing them to make devastating cuts to life-or-death services.”

With the clock ticking and needs increasing, several former executive directors of the United States Interagency Council on Homeslessness (USICH) — including D.C. Department of Human Services Director Laura Zelinger — sent a letter to Congress to express their desire for additional investments to help provide safe and healthy sheltering and rehousing options.

Although negotiations for the next relief bill are ongoing, there is no concrete schedule for how Congress plans to move forward. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows expressed doubts about being able to strike a deal if negotiations were to go beyond Friday.