Senate Republican: New eviction moratorium lacks legal basis, economic justification

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) slammed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) new moratorium on evictions, saying on Twitter that it lacks “legal basis” and “economic justification.”

Toomey also pointed out that even President BidenJoe BidenBiden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day Business lobby calls for administration to 'pump the brakes' on vaccine mandate Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Afghanistan reckoning shows no signs of stopping MORE acknowledged that the moratorium, which targets areas of the country with "substantial” or “high levels” of COVID-19 transmission, would not likely pass constitutional muster. 

“The eviction moratorium lacks both a legal basis and an economic justification. Even the president admitted today that the ‘bulk of constitutional scholars say . . . it's not likely to pass constitutional muster,’ " Toomey said.

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“Congress appropriated $47 billion of rental assistance to address this exact problem. The admin’s time would be better spent dealing with its failure to get money owed to landlords rather than papering over its failures with illegal actions,” he continued.

The CDC's announcement on Tuesday came amid outcry from Democrats over the lapsed moratorium, which had been in place since the pandemic began.  

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The Supreme Court had upheld the CDC’s moratorium, reversing a June 29 ruling from a federal appeals court. But the court warned that further extending the ban beyond the July 31 deadline would exceed the agency’s authority unless Congress acted.

The House didn’t attempt to act on the ban until days before it lapsed and the White House pressured Congress to extend the moratorium.

Biden acknowledged in a news conference on Tuesday that while the moratorium would not likely hold constitutional muster, it would at the very least buy time for state and local governments to distribute aid to renters and landlords.

“There are a few scholars who say it will and others who say it’s not likely to,” Biden said. “But, at a minimum, by the time it gets litigated, it will probably give some additional time while we’re getting that $45 billion out to people who are in fact behind in the rent and don’t have the money.”