Trump Declares National Emergency To Speed Coronavirus Response – Slashdot

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President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday afternoon, a move that would give him authority to use $40 billion allocated by Congress for disaster relief to address the coronavirus crisis. From a report: Cases in the U.S. have climbed past 1,700, even with sporadic and spare testing, and the death toll has risen to 41. Mr. Trump, according to a senior administration official, is expected to invoke the Stafford Act, a law that empowers the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster response and aid state and local governments. The president had indicated in recent days that he had been briefed on the law and could use it to address the pandemic, and Democratic lawmakers like Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, have been pressing him to invoke it. “We have very strong emergency powers under the Stafford Act,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday. “I have it memorized, practically, as to the powers in that act. And if I need to do something, I’ll do it. I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.” Mr. Trump further said that he is waiving off the interest on student loan debt until further notice.