Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is breaking with the Trump administration on their decision to suspend evictions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) usurping authority over private property rights.
“CDC does not have the authority to do this. It’s dangerous precedent and bad policy,” Paul wrote in a Tweet.
Liberty-minded lawmakers in the U.S. House echoed Paul’s complaints against the new policy directive from the White House.
“Rental contracts are governed by state law. There is no federal authority to overturn them. The CDC order is an affront to the rule of law, and an emasculation of every legislator in this country — state and federal,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) wrote in a Tweet.
“Barely a whimper from most of them, Democrat or Republican,” Massie lamented.
“The unintended consequences will harm the people it’s intended to help. Again, the best form of pandemic relief is direct cash payments to the people,” wrote Amash, the Michigan Congressman who recently defected from the GOP to the Libertarian Party.
Rep. Warren Davidson, an Ohio Republican, also shared the concerns of the liberty wing of Congress in a Tweet.
Good intentions cannot make this constitutional. #5A “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”https://t.co/Wus3bbnEvh
— Warren Davidson (@WarrenDavidson) September 3, 2020
The CDC made the announcement earlier this week that they will effectively be suspending evictions until the end of the year:
“The Trump administration is ordering a halt on evictions nationwide through December for people who have lost work during the pandemic and don’t have other good housing options.
The new eviction ban is being enacted through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, which the agency says in its order “presents a historic threat to public health.”
It’s by far the most sweeping move yet by the administration to try to head off a looming wave of evictions of people who have lost their jobs or taken a major blow to their income because of the pandemic. Housing advocates and landlord groups both have been warning that millions of people could soon be put out of their homes through eviction if Congress does not do more to help renters and landlords and reinstate expanded unemployment benefits…
Under the rules of the order, renters have to sign a declaration saying they don’t make more than $99,000 a year — or twice that if filing a joint tax return — and that they have no other option if evicted other than homelessness or living with more people in close proximity.
Evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent will be allowed. The government says it will impose criminal penalties on landlords who violate the ban.”
President Trump may have authorized this move to pander for votes, but the unintended consequence could be a dangerous precedent that future Democrat leaders exploit in the years to come.