!

To read more about Senator Lankford’s border security policy proposal, CLICK HERE.

Lankford, Lee, Jacobs Demand Biden End Unconstitutional Eviction Moratorium

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Congressman Chris Jacobs (R-NY) to lead a bicameral letter to President Biden calling for the Administration to change course and end its unconstitutional eviction moratorium. The letter is signed by 29 members of Congress.

“We strongly oppose the Biden Administration’s latest eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This latest action is plainly unconstitutional and will only serve to further distort the market and create a housing affordability crisis,” the lawmakers said. “Additionally, any further restrictions on evictions at this point are counterproductive. The economy is open, jobs and vaccines are abundant, and federal rental assistance is a reality.”

In a recent Supreme Court case, Alabama Association of Realtors v. Department of Health and Human Services, five members of the Supreme Court effectively acknowledged that CDC exceeded its authority in issuing the moratorium. Justice Kavanaugh stated that “clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.”

Most states require the tenant to take the initiative when applying for rental assistance. A recent Treasury report found very little of the federal rental assistance money has been disbursed so far, and the new moratorium will act as an additional disincentive for tenants to apply for this aid, leaving property owners on the hook.

“We demand the Biden Administration end this moratorium and allow the rental assistance funds to do what they were intended to do. This government overreach must end,” the lawmakers said.

Joining Lankford, Lee, and Jacobs were Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Congressmen Scott Perry (R-PA), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Greg Steube (R-FL), Barry Moore (R-AL), Michael Cloud (R-TX), Fred Keller (R-PA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Jody Hice (R-GA), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), John Rutherford (R-FL-04), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Ted Budd (R-NC), Lisa McClain (R-MI), Austin Scott (R-GA), and Bill Posey (R-FL).

You can find the full text of the letter HERE and below.

Dear President Biden,

We write to express our opposition to your administration’s latest eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on August 3. This latest action is plainly unconstitutional and will only serve to further distort the market and create a housing affordability crisis. We urge you to respect the Constitution and rescind the moratorium.

As you are aware, in Alabama Association of Realtors v. Department of Health and Human Services, five members of the Supreme Court effectively acknowledged that CDC exceeded its authority in issuing the moratorium.1 Justice Kavanaugh stated that “clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.” Your administration has acknowledged that legal reality in several statements, including one issued by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on August 2.

Beyond the constitutional issues, any further restrictions on evictions at this point are counterproductive. The economy is open, jobs and vaccines are abundant, and federal rental assistance is a reality.

Instead of pursuing an unconstitutional moratorium, your administration should be focused on distributing the nearly $50 billion in rental assistance that was appropriated through three separate stimulus packages. A recent Treasury report found very little of this money has been disbursed so far, and your new moratorium will act as an additional disincentive for tenants to apply for this aid, leaving property owners on the hook. Most states require the tenant to take the initiative when applying for rental assistance. With a moratorium still in place and courts severely backlogged on eviction hearings, tenants have little incentive to apply, as they are not the ones bearing the financial burden.

As long as an eviction moratorium remains in place, property owners will continue to struggle financially. The moratorium effectively forces property owners to provide a good without compensation. Meanwhile, these property owners must still pay mortgages, taxes, and maintenance for the dwelling. If this continues much longer, we will see a wave of bankruptcies, foreclosures, and blighted properties that will negatively affect housing affordability.

We demand you end this moratorium and allow the rental assistance funds to do what they were intended to do. This government overreach must end.

###

 

Print
Share
Like
Tweet