Fact Check the Left: Pelosi's Wrong About Trump's Housing Moratorium Executive Order

Posted: Aug 09, 2020 3:30 PM
Fact Check the Left: Pelosi's Wrong About Trump's Housing Moratorium Executive Order

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday hit back at President Donald Trump's Executive Orders, saying they don't do what the president claims they do. Specifically, Pelosi took issue with Trump's EO on an eviction moratorium. According to the speaker, the EO "studies" a potential moratorium but doesn't actually implement it.

"The president didn't even do a moratorium. He just did a study or a look at a moratorium. So, again, something's wrong. Either the president doesn't know what he's talking about. Clearly, his aides don't know what he is talking about. Or something's very wrong here about meeting the needs of the American people at this time," she said.

Pelosi is wrong, though. Trump's EOs instructs the various secretaries to take action and use the tools at their disposal to provide relief to those who need it.

Below is the Executive Order (emphasis mine):

My Administration has taken bold steps to help renters and homeowners have safe and secure places to call home during the COVID-19 crisis.  Prior to passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (Public Law 116-136), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development implemented a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all single-family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.  Furthermore, prior to passage of the CARES Act, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it had instructed the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (the Enterprises) to suspend foreclosures for at least 60 days.  FHFA has since announced that the Enterprises will extend the foreclosure suspension until at least August 31, 2020.

The CARES Act imposed a temporary moratorium on evictions of certain renters subject to certain conditions.  That moratorium has now expired, and there is a significant risk that this will set off an abnormally large wave of evictions.  With the failure of the Congress to act, my Administration must do all that it can to help vulnerable populations stay in their homes in the midst of this pandemic.  Those who are dislocated from their homes may be unable to shelter in place and may have more difficulty maintaining a routine of social distancing.  They will have to find alternative living arrangements, which may include a homeless shelter or a crowded family home and may also require traveling to other States.

In addition, evictions tend to disproportionately affect minorities, particularly African Americans and Latinos.  Unlike the Congress, I cannot sit idly and refuse to assist vulnerable Americans in need.  Under my Administration, minorities achieved the lowest unemployment rates on record, and we will not let COVID-19 erase these gains by causing short-term dislocations that could well have long-term consequences.

Accordingly, my Administration, to the extent reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, will take all lawful measures to prevent residential evictions and foreclosures resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19.
Sec. 2.  Policy.  It is the policy of the United States to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residential evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency.

Sec. 3.  Response to Public Health Risks of Evictions and Foreclosures.  (a)  The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of CDC shall consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from one State or possession into any other State or possession.

    (b)  The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall identify any and all available Federal funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners who, as a result of the financial hardships caused by COVID-19, are struggling to meet their monthly rental or mortgage obligations.  

    (c)  The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19.  Such action may include encouraging and providing assistance to public housing authorities, affordable housing owners, landlords, and recipients of Federal grant funds in minimizing evictions and foreclosures.

    (d)  In consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of FHFA shall review all existing authorities and resources that may be used to prevent evictions and foreclosures for renters and homeowners resulting from hardships caused by COVID-19.

Townhall Rating: Lie.

The language in Trump's Executive Order says secretaries should "look into" various ideas to keep people from being evicted. Once the secretaries determine what actions need to be taken, they are to act, which then implements a moratorium. Pelosi took the EO out of context and made it sound as though this is paper pushing.