The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently extended its controversial eviction moratorium, despite the Supreme Court stating in June that the agency lacked such authority and that Congress was the only entity that could impose such a moratorium, via legislation.
The Democrat-controlled Congress failed to do so, however, and instead recessed until September, prompting a group of House Republicans to demand Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) call all members back to address the issue, The Daily Caller reported.
That group of nearly 40 Republicans are members of two committees with oversight of the issue, the Finacial Services Committee, and Energy and Commerce Committee. They argued that Pelosi and her fellow Democrats have been negligent in their duty to relieve the problems faced by some renters and property owners due to the pandemic.
An “egregious” failure
In a letter sent Friday to Pelosi, the House Republicans asserted, “House Democrats failed to provide a permanent solution for Americans who are now at risk of being evicted from their homes due to unpaid rent stemming from the pandemic.”
“Instead of taking action to provide renters with the financial relief they need, Democrats sought to delay rather than solve the problem through another temporary and flawed federal eviction moratorium extension,” the letter continued. “To be clear, such an approach is both unlawful and unwise, and only adds new uncertainty to already struggling renters who missed payments due to COVID-19.”
The lawmakers noted that the CDC extension was unacceptable and decried the “egregious” decision by Democrats to not take action when it clearly knew, back in June, that the CDC moratorium was unlawful and it was up to Congress to address the matter legislatively.
Dems “should be ashamed”
The House Republicans also chastised the Biden administration for its “mismanagement” of a program passed by Congress last year known as the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program that was devised to provide upwards of $46.5 billion to tenants and property owners to cover past-due payments and avoid the prospect of evictions for nonpayment.
“Every Democrat should be ashamed of their failure to protect renters from the threat of eviction by eliminating the back rent they owe, which is a direct result of the House Democrats’ decision to ignore regular order,” the GOP lawmakers wrote. “While your caucus has failed to support renters as promised, Republicans have repeatedly presented a solution.”
They pointed to a proposal of their own from June, H.R. 3913, the Renter Protection Act, that would streamline the ERA and hasten the distribution of the already authorized funds — a proposal that Democrats have flatly ignored and declined to even consider, much less actually pass.
Problem “entirely avoidable”
The Republican members went on to accuse Pelosi and her Democrats of ignoring a “bipartisan solution” — not to mention the Constitution and Supreme Court — to instead undermine Congress and the separation of powers and enable an “abuse of power” and “complete disregard for the rule of law” by President Joe Biden’s CDC.
“When the newly issued moratorium is inevitably struck down by the courts there will be even more confusion and uncertainty for renters and landlords across the country,” they warned in the letter. “This was entirely avoidable.”
“It is unconscionable for the House to stand in recess while millions of renters and property owners across the country face eviction and the loss of livelihoods,” the letter concluded. “With so many Americans facing eviction from their homes, we demand that you call the House back to provide a lasting solution that grants relief to renters and landlords by passing H.R. 3913.”