U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, filed a discharge petition to force consideration of the Renter Protection Act, on the House floor.
This bill, H.R. 3913, seeks to expedite payments from the the $46 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance money so it can be used to pay off any outstanding back rent and remove the threat of eviction from COVID-impacted renters. McHenry said it is being brought forth due to the Democrats’ failure to address what he called the Biden Administration’s mismanagement of the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs.
“Congress promised relief to renters and property owners impacted by the pandemic,” McHenry said. “Due to the Biden Administration’s mismanagement and Congressional Democrats’ inaction, American families have been left twisting in the wind. Republicans have been offering a commonsense solution for months—the Renter Protection Act—to fix the ERA programs, make mom-and-pop property owners whole, and end the threat of eviction. This discharge petition will force Congress to finally keep the promise we made to renters and property owners almost one year ago.”
The Renter Protection Act of 2021 would reform the ERA programs by consolidating them into one unified program with one set of rules. Thus, it would transfer all remaining March 2021 ERA program funds into the original December 2020 ERA program and requires Treasury to disburse the funds within 30 days.
Further, it would require that cities and states with any unused ERA money use those funds to pay off the back-rent debts of COVID-impacted eligible households. Finally, it would reinstate the original Dec. 31, 2021 deadline for cities and states to distribute all ERA funds to COVID-impacted eligible households.
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