OPINION: The Eviction Moratorium Will Ensure Only Corporations Can Be Landlords

Eviction notice in the post - stock photo
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Tuesday extended a moratorium on evictions, an extension already deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the White House stepped around that issue because the moratorium is only “temporary.”

In case you missed that, according to the White House, it’s okay to ignore the U.S. Constitution so long as we claim it’s “temporary.”

But it’s far from temporary. The moratorium has been in place for 18 months and will now live on for at least two more months.

The move from President Joe Biden is a major reversal from what he said just last week, when he acknowledged he lacked the authority to extend the moratorium without action from Congress. Despite admitting that he had no legal authority to extend the moratorium, Biden did so anyway, knowing he won’t be held accountable.

As Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said on Monday:

I don’t buy that the CDC can’t extend the eviction moratorium – something it has already done in the past! Who is going to stop them? Who is going to penalize them? There is no official ruling saying that they cannot extend this moratorium. C’mon CDC – have a heart! Just do it!

While the continuance of the moratorium is a black eye for Democrats, we can’t forget that this started under the Trump administration.

At the time, because so many businesses were forced by the government to close and unemployment skyrocketed, the moratorium seemed like a way to help those who had lost their jobs. More than a year later, with the unemployment rate dropping and businesses struggling to find people to return to work, an extension of the moratorium makes no sense.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) never had the authority to institute such a moratorium, as the Supreme Court decided in its “official ruling” saying that congress was where the power lay to extend the moratorium. As The Daily Wire reported on Monday, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) waited until the last minute to try to hold a vote on extending the moratorium. The Supreme Court’s decision was issued in June, finding the CDC’s moratorium was unconstitutional.

Numerous Democrats, led by members of the Squad, camped out on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building to protest the end of the moratorium — which they themselves failed to extend when they had the chance.

Speaker Pelosi failed to get the votes and then took to Twitter to place the blame at the feet of the CDC, claiming they had “the power to extend the eviction moratorium.”

After this tweet, Jen Psaki said the CDC could not lawfully extend the moratorium, adding, that CDC officials “have been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium.”

“Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections,” Psaki added. “In the meantime, the President will continue to do everything in his power to help renters from eviction.”

At some point between then and Wednesday morning, the Biden administration decided it had the legal authority.

Well, not exactly. They know they have no legal authority, but since this is only “temporary,” it doesn’t matter. The plan is to expect lawsuits knowing they will take time to work through the court in order to give congress time to act.

But in the meantime, any landlord who tries to evict a tenant who isn’t paying rent will be faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. What law are they breaking? None, since the CDC can’t make laws.

The moratorium is supposed to be narrow and only apply to those who have really, really tried to pay, but we all know that doesn’t matter. Trying to evict someone takes time, whether you are on the right side of the moratorium or not.

What this moratorium will actually do is hurt small-time landlords. It seems like Democrats think all landlords are wealthy fat cats who don’t need the money. Essentially, they view the artists in “Rent” as the good guys (which is how the musical portrays them, even though they’re squatters who just refuse to earn money to pay their bills).

But not all landlords can afford to not get paid for a year-and-a-half. Many of them earn less than their tenants and need the rental income to pay their own bills. It’s like everyone forgot about that big Atlantic story explaining how Wall Street investors became landlords by creating big investment companies to manage homes and then stiffed renters.

Well, this eviction moratorium pretty much guarantees that only corporations like these can afford to be landlords.

Just like when the government decided who was an “essential” worker versus who was not, it is again picking winners and losers in the market based on some cartoonish idea about one side versus the other. In the end, they make new victims while continuing to claim the moral high ground.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  OPINION: The Eviction Moratorium Will Ensure Only Corporations Can Be Landlords