HOUSTON - President Trump signed an executive order to provide an extra $400 dollars in unemployment benefits a week and cut the payroll tax. But there are questions about whether either of those efforts will take effect.
After Congress couldn't reach an agreement on a second stimulus bill on Friday before their month-long recess began, President Trump signed an executive order to offer relief.
But legal scholars question whether Trump's order is constitutional.
And many people, out of work and desperate to make ends meet, feel left in the lurch.
"We have a lot of bills to pay and I'm very frustrated," said Bertha Murphy.
Murphy has been waiting for her stimulus check to arrive for months. Now she's also waiting for Congress to provide the relief her family needs.
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"I think it's very frustrating and they're not understanding what Americans are actually going through," said Murphy.
President Trump's executive order calls for an additional $400 dollars a week in unemployment benefits now that the extra $600 dollars a week ended July 31.
"The major problem with the additional aid is it requires states, or asks them, to pony up another 25% of the payment, or $100 a week," reacted analyst Mark Hamrick with Bankrate.com. "The reality is most states across the country have been in very dire straights with their budgets because they would not have near the sales tax revenue they would have had in the past."
Trump's executive order would also defer payroll taxes for people earning less than $100,000 a year. Payroll taxes pay for things like Social Security and Medicare, but workers would still have to pay those taxes at a later date. However, Trump has asked the Treasury to look into canceling the debt.
"There's no question this is not a tax cut, with respect to the pay roll tax cut, as it is a deferral," said Hamrick.
"In order to supplement the taxes that they're waiving, it's Social Security and Medicare. So that's going to wipe me out completely," said Murphy.
House Democrats still want $600 a week in additional unemployment benefits. Senate Republicans want $200. But they failed to agree before their month-long recess began Friday.
"The reality is that with every passing day, we're one day closer to the election and it seems in the current climate, members of Congress are placing their political aspirations above the needs of the American people," said Hamrick.