Exclusive: half of Americans support Trump bypassing Congress for COVID relief

14 August 2020

8:41 AM

14 August 2020

8:41 AM

More than half of registered voters support President Trump using executive action to bypass Congress and extend coronavirus relief measures, according to a new poll.

Trump opted to sign a series of executive orders this past Saturday rather than wait for Congress to reach an agreement on legislation as a prior relief package was set to expire. Democrats and the White House met repeatedly over the past couple of weeks, but despite making ‘progress’ both sides said they were still too far away to be even close to making a deal.

A new poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies and provided exclusively to The Spectator found that 51 percent of voters agreed that it was right for Trump to take executive action under these circumstances, while just 24 percent disagreed. Of the 87 percent of voters who said they were at least somewhat aware of the EOs, 52 percent agreed with their overall substance.

Each individual executive order enjoyed a plurality of support from voters:

  • 47 percent approve and 22 percent disapprove of postponing payroll taxes through to the end of the year for those making under $104,000
  • 37 percent think that the $400 a week unemployment benefit set forth by the President’s recent executive order is about right, whereas 30 percent think it is not enough, and 15 percent think it is too much
  • 68 percent agree and 9 percent disagree that all evictions should be halted until the end of the year due to the ongoing pandemic
  • 65 percent approve and 6 percent disapprove of the executive order waiving all interest on federal student loans until the end of the year and allowing people to delay payments until the end of December

The public’s support for Trump’s set of executive actions stands in contrast to the reaction from politicians and the media. Republican senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska called Trump’s move ‘unconstitutional slop’, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the actions are an ‘illusion’ that won’t do what the President intended. Law professor Daniel Hemel surmised in the Washington Post that the orders are legal but ‘ineffective’, with BuzzFeed News agreeing that it’s ‘unclear what they’ll actually do.’

The Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll surveyed 2,000 registered voters via an online web survey with a margin of error of 2.19 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

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