August 11, 2021

Toomey Launches Effort to Overturn Biden Administration’s Illegal Eviction Moratorium

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has launched an effort to overturn the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) illegal eviction moratorium.

“As I said when the previous administration created it, an eviction moratorium lacks both a legal and an economic justification,” said Senator Toomey. “Even President Biden admitted last week that the ‘bulk of constitutional scholars’ agree ‘it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster.’ I hope my colleagues will join me in overturning this illegal action.”

Yesterday, Ranking Member Toomey sent a letter requesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) make a determination as quickly as possible whether the CDC’s latest eviction moratorium constitutes a rule for purposes of the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA allows the Senate to overturn rules under expedited procedures and with a simple majority vote. In 2017 and 2018, Toomey successfully used the GAO route to kill Obama-era rules on auto lending and leveraged business loans that were camouflaged as guidance documents.

“Though the CDC did not pursue notice and comment rulemaking, the eviction moratorium appears to be generally applicable, prospective in nature, and designed to interpret law,” Senator Toomey wrote in the letter. “For these reasons, I respectfully request that you evaluate whether the eviction moratorium is a rule under the CRA.”

Due to the significant impact the CDC’s eviction moratorium is having on the legal and property rights of landlords and renters, Ranking Member Toomey asked that GAO make a determination no later than August 16, 2021.

Senator Toomey also filed a joint resolution with Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) that would enable Congress to repeal the eviction moratorium under the CRA.

 “The Administration’s executive action banning landlords from collecting rent that is rightfully owed to them goes beyond the CDC’s legal authority. This extended halt in evictions sets a dangerous precedent for government agencies operating outside of their statutory limitations in the future and must be stopped,” said Senator Marshall. “Thoughtless power grabs such as these have rippling consequences and the continued prolonging of the eviction moratorium does more to harm American economic recovery than to help it.”

“The Supreme Court has made it clear – and President Biden himself has confirmed – that CDC does not have the legal authority to unilaterally extend the eviction moratorium,” said Senator Burr. “This action exceeds CDC’s statutory authority and sets a dangerous precedent going forward. With widely available COVID-19 vaccines, Americans are returning back to work and our economy is on a strong pathway to recovery. This illegal and misguided extension does nothing to support our continued economic recovery and it must be reversed.”

To read Senator Toomey’s full letter to GAO, click here.

To view the text of Senators Marshall, Toomey, and Burr’s joint resolution, click here.