By Robert A. Vella

Here is some supplemental coverage of President Trump’s political ploy to shift blame for his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, in the form of executive orders and memorandums he issued on Saturday, plus news headlines for this Monday:

From:  The Note: Trump power play collides with GOP’s old principles and new realities

It’s right where President Donald Trump wants to be: Acting in the face of congressional inaction and casting himself as the hero of a weary nation.

But Trump’s unilateral COVID-19 relief orders were issued under questionable legal grounds and won’t have anywhere near the “very rapid” implementation the president is promising.

They are also coming up against a new dynamic that is fueled by old principles. Republicans are joining Democrats in questioning the wisdom and constitutionality of the president’s actions — with some GOP rising stars thinking about what the post-Trump era might look like.

Sen. Ben Sasse called it “unconstitutional slop,” in a statement referencing the “pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking” that conservatives once mocked former President Barack Obama for espousing.

A range of other Republican lawmakers reiterated their view that Congress, not the president, should be acting. One big reason Congress hasn’t acted, of course, is that Republican senators have raised concerned about out-of-control spending and whether ideas the president favors — ideas including a payroll-tax holiday and expanded unemployment benefits — are sound policy at all.

Trump is practically daring Democrats to go to court to block his actions, saying such a lawsuit is “not going to be a very popular thing.” They will have to make that choice, but Republicans also have to choose whether to support Trump’s if-I-win promise of “permanent cuts” to the taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, not to mention his vow of a “major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover all preexisting conditions for all companies.”

From:  AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s smoke and mirrors on executive orders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump isn’t telling the full story when it comes to executive orders on coronavirus relief payments and health care.

Over the weekend, the president suggested that his move to bypass Congress with executive action calling for up to $400 in weekly unemployment assistance would mean immediate cash in hand for laid-off Americans during the pandemic. There’s no guarantee of that. His own economic adviser acknowledged Sunday that various details remained to be worked out, including contributions from the states, and that legal challenges appeared likely.

And on health care, Trump said he would pursue a “major” executive order to require health insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions, something that “has never been done before.” Actually, it’s been done before — with “Obamacare,” a law that Trump is seeking to invalidate.

The claims came in a week where truth took a beating, on topics from mail-in voting to the virus threat.

From:  Trump’s executive actions: Breaking down the coronavirus pandemic aid

With stimulus talks stalled, President Donald Trump announced he would go around Congress to deliver aid to Americans affected by the pandemic.

But a close read of the actual text of executive actions he signed Saturday suggests that even if they are deemed constitutional, they will not quickly deliver the aid Trump promised. They may not deliver much at all.

Here’s a breakdown of the actions, the many strings attached and questions about what they actually accomplish.

Trump described the memorandum signed Saturday as an action providing “an additional or extra $400 a week and expanded benefits.”

But in reality, the additional unemployment aid is more complicated than the White House acknowledged and experts say it may not help a lot of the unemployed.

Related stories:

States Wary of Trump’s Move For Them to Kick In on Federal Aid

Trump declares war on Social Security, Medicare (opinion)

‘You’re the real loser’: [former White House communications director Anthony] Scaramucci fires back at Trump over botched handling of coronavirus

Could USPS Leadership Overhaul Be Part of Trump’s Push to Impair Mail-in Voting?

FEC commissioner: ‘Substantial chance’ of no results on election night

Top Democrats fear Trump and his staff will [illegally] shred documents, withhold important information and delete official emails on the way out if Biden wins the election. Here’s what they plan to do to stop it

A record number of people are giving up their US citizenship, according to new research. Here’s why


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