Washington, DC— Today, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Financial Services Committee, led by Republican Leaders Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (WA-05) and Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12). The letter criticizes President Biden’s extension of the unconstitutional eviction moratorium and condemns House Democrats’ inability to find a permanent solution for American renters.
The Republican Members also demand Speaker Pelosi bring the House back to work to permanently address this avoidable eviction crisis by passing Republicans’ H.R. 3913, the Renter Protection Act. H.R. 3913 will fix the Biden Administration’s mismanagement of the Emergency Rental Assistance programs and get those funds to struggling renters and landlords to pay off back-owed rents, keeping families in their homes.
The Republican Members write: “Last week, 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. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Eviction Moratorium that expired on August 1st is not a solution and should not have been extended. The decision by House Democrats to forgo action and lobby for an extended CDC moratorium is especially egregious because the flaws of such an approach were a knowable and foreseeable problem. As early as March 2021, at least two Federal courts declared that the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium was unconstitutional and required legislative action. This point was further confirmed when the Supreme Court declined to take up the case and Justice Kavanaugh wrote, “In my view, clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.”
Despite Justice Kavanaugh’s clear instructions, Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee held no hearings or discussions with Committee Republicans on whether it was appropriate to give the CDC this expansive authority, given their clear abuse of power.
“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. While your caucus has failed to support renters as promised, Republicans have repeatedly presented a solution. In June, Republicans introduced H.R. 3913, the Renter Protection Act to ensure ERA money gets into the hands of the renters who are most in need. This is the exact policy the Administration has pushed over the last several days.
“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. 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. 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.”
CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Speaker Pelosi.