Friday, March 13, 2020

Trump announces declaration of national emergency


BY KATHRYN WATSON, WEIJIA JIANG

President Trump is declaring a national emergency to address the coronavirus pandemic, he announced during a Rose Garden press conference on Friday afternoon. Stocks surged after Mr. Trump's announcement, with the Dow rising nearly 2,000 points at its close.

Mr. Trump said he does not agree with House Democrats' current legislation to provide financial relief to Americans hardest hit by the virus, complicating the situation on Capitol Hill as lawmakers try to strike a deal.

"To unleash the full power of the federal government in this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency," the president announced as he stood alongside top administration officials and company CEOs he met with earlier.

The president is likely to invoke the Stafford Act, enabling him to increase funding for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) efforts, although the president did not explicitly mention the Stafford Act. On another note, the president announced he's waived all interest on federal student loans for the time being. The president said he will soon be releasing a paper on other steps the administration is likely to take to help the economy, but it's unclear what he means by that.

"No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever," the president told reporters.  Read more >>