As lawmakers squabble over the next round of coronavirus aid, President Trump on Wednesday expressed his support for a short-term stimulus deal that would include additional eviction protections ahead of the passage of any more major legislation; it’s the latest sign of division between the White House and Senate Republicans who have struggled to present a unified front on federal stimulus legislation ahead of negotiations with Democrats.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of … [+]
Speaking to reporters with the President, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that a short-term stopgap bill that would include eviction protections and the extension of federal supplemental unemployment benefits should be considered if lawmakers can’t agree on a solution by Friday, Politico reported.
Democratic lawmakers strongly oppose a piecemeal approach to the next round of legislation, and have blasted Republicans for their disorganized and chaotic series of proposals.
The GOP’s latest stimulus plan doesn’t include new eviction protections, and it would slash federal unemployment benefits to $200 per week until states can implement a 70% wage replacement program.
A CARES Act eviction moratorium for renters living in buildings with federally backed mortgages—about one-third of American renters—expired last week.
There are 12 states, including Texas and Kansas, that have no eviction protections in place meaning millions of renters are at risk of eviction if the federal government does not step in.
“You ought to work on the evictions, so people don’t get evicted. You work on the payments to the people,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. “The rest of it we’re so far apart we don’t care. We really don’t care. We want to take care of the people.”
Democrats passed their proposal for more coronavirus aid (the $3 trillion Heroes Act) in the House in May, though it was ignored by the Senate and will not become law; that bill included a provision to extend the CARES Act moratorium along with billions of dollars in rental assistance. The GOP proposal—a series of separate bills and plans announced by multiple Senators and committees—was unveiled Monday; it would not extend the moratorium on evictions.