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Trump administration might circumvent Congress for economic relief: report

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  • The Trump administration is reportedly weighing whether it can go around Congress to implement economic-relief measures, such as enacting liability protections for businesses and pushing the tax filing deadline back several months.
  • Trump supports shielding businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits, saying it would be “litigation heaven.”
  • The White House also backs the idea of a payroll tax cut and cutting capital gains taxes.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House is reportedly weighing going around Congress to implement several economic relief measures as it pushes to reopen the country, NBC News reported.

Among the proposed measures is the implementation of liability protections designed to shield businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits, as well as a delay of the tax-filing deadline beyond July 15.

Citing two sources familiar with the discussions, the outlet reported that the Trump administration is considering pushing this year’s tax deadline further to September 15 or December 15.

The White House is also trying to determine whether it is within the executive branch’s authority to enact a so-called liability shield to prevent businesses from being sued by workers who contract the coronavirus. Administration officials told NBC News there have not been final decisions made so far, suggesting plans are still fluid.

President Trump supports enacting liability protections for businesses. He said on Thursday that “it would be litigation heaven” if no action was taken as the economy started to reopen.

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However, it is unlikely the president would be able to create a liability shield on his own without setting off a firestorm of criticism from Democrats and worker groups that staunchly oppose the idea.

Trump has also repeatedly called for a slew of tax cuts, including temporarily scrapping payroll taxes and capital gains taxes in a bid to jumpstart growth. On Tuesday, he appeared to connect further federal aid to states to achieving key Republican priorities on immigration and the economy.

The White House floated a payroll-tax cut early on in the pandemic, but it abandoned the plans amid opposition from Democrats and many Republicans as well.

Over 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past two months, and the Friday jobs report is set to be the worst in recent memory.

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