One of Biden’s First Actions In Office Will be To Exercise Powers He Admits He Doesn’t Have
If you were hoping President Joe Biden might break from former President Donald Trump’s broad view of executive authority, don’t hold your breath. On Wednesday afternoon, Biden plans on extending the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium through the end of March.
That moratorium prohibits landlords—under penalty of stiff fines and even jail time—from evicting tenants for non-payment if they file a hardship declaration stating that they are unable to pay rent because of the pandemic and their eviction would result in them moving into a crowded living situation.
The Trump administration, through the CDC, first issued this moratorium back in September. It was extended through the end of January by the relief bill passed by Congress at the end of December.
Throughout the pandemic, federal housing agencies have issued a slew of eviction and foreclosure protections for residents of single-family homes financed or owned by a government-sponsored enterprise like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or with a federally insured mortgage. The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, paused evictions at multi-family properties with a federally insured mortgage and for renters receiving federal housing aid.
The CDC’s eviction moratorium is distinct in that it applies to all rental properties nationwide, regardless of any federally insured mortgage or participation in a government housing program. The sweeping nature of that moratorium, and the fact that it was initially issued by executive fiat, has sparked numerous legal challenges.
“There’s definitely separation-of-powers problems with the president just making up law or the CDC just making up law. That’s what happened under Trump with the CDC when they issued the national
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