Washington, Aug 9. (EFE) .- The United States, the country in the world most affected by the coronavirus, exceeded 5 million cases this Sunday, immersed in a scuffle between Democrats and the White House over President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally sign measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the economy.
According to the independent count of the Johns Hopkins University, the US registered a total of 5,017,150 infections at 1:30 p.m. local time (17:30 GMT), ahead of Brazil, with 3,012,412; India, with 2,153,010; and Russia, with 885,718.
Regarding the deceased, the US also registers the highest number of deaths in the world with 162,635; followed by Brazil, with 100,477; Mexico, with 52,006; and the United Kingdom with 46,659.
The states most affected in the North American country by the pandemic are California, with 555,797 cases; Florida, with 532,806; and Texas, with 497,915.
Regarding the dead, New York is the worst hit state, with 32,773; followed by New Jersey, with 15,874; and California, with 10,316.
Despite the inexorable advance of infections, the political debate was dominated this Sunday by the economy with a give and take between the Democrats and the White House over Trump’s decision to sign four executive orders.
“UNCONSTITUTIONAL BAZOPHY”, FOR PELOSI
Those decrees, which the president signed on Saturday at his golf club in Bedminster (New Jersey), provide for an additional benefit for the unemployed, a delay in paying payroll taxes, a moratorium on the repayment of student loans and a freeze in federal housing evictions.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, was forceful in calling these measures “unconstitutional slop.”
“In fact, what the president did, and I agree with what the Republican senator said, is unconstitutional slop,” Pelosi said, in statements to Fox News television.
The policy, which has led so far unsuccessful negotiations with the White House to launch a new economic stimulus package, referred to a statement released Saturday by Senator Ben Sasse, who criticized Trump’s orders.
And it is that the legal basis on which the president acted unilaterally has been questioned by the Democrats, who have threatened to take their decisions before Justice if Congress is left aside, which is in charge of determining federal spending.
THE DEMOCRATS DO NOT REVEAL IF THEY WILL DEMAND THE ORDERS
Even so, neither Pelosi nor the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, specified this Sunday if they will finally demand Trump’s actions.
Asked about the legality of those decrees, Schumer told ABC News: “Well, you know, I’ll leave that to the lawyers (…) It’s not going to go into effect in most places for weeks or months. because he’s armed in a crazy way, “he reflected.
The Democrats and the White House held a round of negotiations between Thursday and Friday to push for a new economic stimulus package, which ended with mutual accusations.
In March, the White House and Congress agreed to a package of more than $ 2 trillion, the largest in the country’s history, which provided, among other things, an additional weekly benefit of $ 600 to the unemployed and offered protections against to evictions.
However, both grants expired at the end of July without the parties reaching an agreement to extend them. In one of his orders, Trump recovers the weekly benefit for the unemployed, but reduces it to $ 400 and requires states to bear 25% of its cost.
ONE BILLION UP, ONE BILLION DOWN
In May, the Democrat-controlled lower house approved a $ 3.4 trillion package that would have allowed the payment of the $ 600 a week through January, but both the White House and the conservative-majority Senate Republicans, they rejected that amount and sought to lower it to 1 trillion.
Last Thursday, the progressives offered to lower their proposal to 2.4 billion, but made it a condition that the White House increase its offer from 1 to 2 billion, which was rejected by government negotiators.
Faced with the collapse of the talks, Trump followed through on his threats and signed the executive orders, about which Democrats on Sunday expressed doubts about their viability.
In Pelosi’s view, these measures do not provide funding for additional benefits, but rather put on the table a “complicated formula” that will take time until the money reaches the pockets of Americans.
In his opinion, it is illusory to think that there will be a stoppage of evictions: “While (the decree) contains the illusion of saying that we are going to have a moratorium on evictions, it says’ I’m going to ask the boys in charge what study if it is viable. “
“Meanwhile,” he added, “(Trump) says that he is going to do (eliminate) the payroll tax, when what he is doing is undermining Social Security and Medicare, so these are illusions,” said the Speaker of the House. Low.
The Democrat maintained that an agreement must be reached between both parties and insisted that her party has made concessions during the negotiations.
From the White House, they defended the actions of the president and attacked the progressives.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned in an interview with Fox News that if Democrats bring executive orders to justice they will be responsible for delaying aid to Americans.
“We have clarified all these actions with the Office of the Legal Counsel,” he stressed. “If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and withhold unemployment benefits for those working Americans who are out of their jobs due to COVID-19, they will have to explain a lot “.
(c) EFE Agency