October 22, 2020

Crapo Floor Statement on Rental Assistance

As prepared for delivery:  

“Madam President – reserving the right to object – you know, it's remarkable that we see here a series of unanimous consent requests to pass legislation without debate, without amendment, without the opportunity for amendment and improvement, and just a few hours after refusal to proceed to legislation where we could do just that. 

“Legislation that had 500 billion dollars of additional assistance for the American people, legislation that did address these unemployment issues, the same issues that we are seeing our colleagues on the other side pick up pieces of the legislation that Nancy Pelosi wants to pass without negotiating.  Without working through the legislative process, and seeing if they can drive them through the Senate, and objecting to doing them in regular legislative order.   

“We are ready to engage in major legislation.  And yes, this is a couple of hours after we tried for the second or third time to put legislation on the floor – an opportunity refused by my colleagues on the other side. 

“We are accused of not working on these issues, while it's take-it-or-leave-it proposals from the House-passed legislation are being thrown on the floor of the Senate.  Well, let's talk about the current proposal for rental assistance and eviction protection against those in housing markets who need help. I'll say now, they need help.  As I said the last time this effort was tried, they need help and we need to work together instead of just trying to shove Nancy Pelosi's bill into the Senate when we can't even get agreement to put a major 500 billion dollar relief package on the Floor for debate and consideration.   

“Six months ago, this body came together and unanimously passed a package that provided historic unprecedented support to the housing market both for homeowners and renters alike.  We gave the majority of homeowners in this country the option of hitting the pause button on their mortgage payments.  We prohibited foreclosures and evictions across a wide swath of the marketplace, which was recently expanded by the CDC to cover an even broader portion of the market and extended through the end of 2020.  And President Trump, through his executive orders, has extended this further.  We appropriated in excess of 12 billion dollars in supplemental funding to specifically enhance federal housing programs. 

“We've provided $150 billion in funding to states and local governments through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, a significant portion of which has been used for rental assistance.  We worked together in a bipartisan way on the CARES Act, and we could work on this next bill the way we worked then.  But no, it's take-it-or-leave-it, when we are capable of working together in coming days if we could simply get on the legislation in the Senate, as I've said before on this floor. 

“We have reached out to the other side multiple times, most recently a few hours ago.  I’m hopeful that we can reach out again and give all of our Senate colleagues the opportunity to simply proceed to get a bill on the Floor that we can work on.  

“I totally disagree with the negative comments that were made about the 500 billion dollar relief package.  It is a very significant piece of legislation that itself can be enhanced; enhanced with this rental assistance that we're talking about right now. 

“I believe we need to get some legislation on the floor, stop the back and forth battered and bantering between parties and between houses in the Congress and get serious discussion of serious legislation and move forward. Thank you, Madam. Chairman.”