Republicans who once denounced President Barack Obama as a “king” or “tyrant” for issuing executive orders are now praising President Donald Trump after he took unilateral action seeking to extend coronavirus relief measures that Congress had been unable to agree on.
Trump on Saturday signed an executive order and other executive actions attempting to sidestep Congress, sparking criticism from Democrats who called the move inadequate and ineffective. Even if they are ultimately ruled constitutional, Trump’s actions aren’t likely to deliver aid quickly, if at all.
Still waiting on “constitutional conservative” and “liberty loving” groups to slam President Trump for executive overreach. I have a feeling I’ll be waiting for a while.— Justin Amash (@justinamash) August 9, 2020
Most Republicans welcomed Trump’s announcement after weeks of strained negotiations among top administration officials and Democrats. The talks led to little progress on extending key relief measures such as supplemental federal unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions, as well as additional aid for schools, hospitals, elections and food assistance.
“I support President Trump exploring his options to get unemployment benefits and other relief to the people who need them the most,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Saturday in a statement.
McConnell had a different opinion in 2013, when Obama issued an executive action to protect millions of undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.
“He knows that it will make an already-broken system even more broken, and he knows that this is not how democracy is supposed to work,” McConnell said at the time.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) similarly applauded Trump for taking action to extend added unemployment benefits, which expired last month. He also criticized Obama for his unilateral moves sidestepping Congress.
“This is wrong. It’s irresponsible. It will do...