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McHenry to Waters: Renters Need a Permanent Solution to Eliminating Their Back Rent


McHenry to Waters: Renters Need a Permanent Solution to Eliminating Their Back Rent




Washington,
August 4, 2021 
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Today, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43). The letter demands Chair Waters convene a hearing with Treasury Secretary Yellen to answer for the Biden Administration’s complete failure to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs and again urges consideration of Republicans’ Renter Protection Act. Instead of lurching from crisis to crisis with extensions of the unconstitutional eviction moratorium, we should be working to fix the ERA programs to pay off Americans’ back rent and keep more families in their homes.


Republican Leader McHenry writes: “Last week, Democrats adjourned the House without a solution to help the millions of renters who faced eviction. As Committee Republicans have repeatedly exposed, continued mismanagement by the Biden Administration has left renters impacted by COVID struggling in spite of the more than $46 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Congress provided last winter.” 


“Renters need a permanent solution to eliminating their back rent. In June, Committee Republicans introduced H.R. 3913, the Renter Protection Act. This bill accomplishes the exact policy called for in your letter to Speaker Pelosi and the one articulated by the Administration. The bill would ‘encourage state and local governments to disburse the emergency rental assistance funds quickly and efficiently.’ H.R. 3913 ensures that all remaining ERA money will be immediately used to eliminate the old debts of renters and end any threat of their eviction.


“Congress should stop the bickering. The solution is clear. Enacting the Renter Protection Act will provide millions of renters with the peace of mind that their missed COVID bills will not result in an eviction. Thus, I once again renew my request that the next hearing the Committee convene be one requiring Secretary Yellen to testify on this urgent matter, and that the Committee immediately move to favorably report H.R. 3913.”


Read the full letter here.


Timeline of Financial Services Committee Republicans’ Actions to Prevent Evictions:


On May 18, 2021, Republican Leader McHenry sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen asking for data on how much ERA money has reached renters and landlords.


At a June 9, 2021 hearing on housing issues Republican Leader McHenry called out the Biden Administration for their gross mismanagement of the ERA programs.


On June 15, 2021 Republican Leader McHenry sent a letter to the GAO asking them to audit the ERA programs.


On June 16, 2021 all Committee Republicans introduced H.R. 3913, the Renter Protection Act, to fix the Biden Administration’s mismanagement of the ERA programs, get the money out the door quickly, and keep Americans in their homes.


On June 25, 2021, Republican Leader McHenry and French Hill (AR-02), the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Housing Community Development, and Insurance, released a statement denouncing the Biden Administration’s shortsighted extension of the eviction moratorium and calling for consideration of Republicans’ Renter Protection Act.


On July 13, 2021, Republican Leader McHenry sent a letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) demanding that Secretary Yellen testify alongside HUD Secretary Fudge to answer for the mismanagement of the ERA programs and calling for the Committee to consider Republicans’ Renter Protection Act at the next markup.


At a July 20, 2021 hearing with Secretary Fudge, Republican Leader McHenry hammered the administration for their inability to answer basic questions about the status of the ERA programs.


On July 28, 2021, Republican Leader McHenry joined other top Republicans in a letter blasting Secretary Yellen for skirting congressional oversight of the ERA programs and refusing to testify before Congress.


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