After insisting that his administration lacked the power to pass an extension to a federal eviction moratorium, President Joe Biden buckled to pressure from House progressives and passed one anyway.
According to Townhall, Biden seemingly fully admitted that such an action was unconstitutional, acknowledging that the decision would likely face legal challenges. Texas Rep. Chip Roy (R) suggested that not only is the moratorium extension unconstitutional, but added that Biden’s decision to go through with it is “absolutely impeachable.”
What’s going on?
After the moratorium — which was announced last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — expired on July 31, Biden, citing an earlier Supreme Court decision, insisted that he was unable to take action, leaving the proverbial ball in Congress’ court.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to accept that the administration was unable to pass an extension. Between her statement on the issue and several protests by progressive House Democrats, just a few days later, Biden buckled, announcing a “targeted” extension to the moratorium, matching areas that the CDC deemed as having “high” or “substantial” risk of the spread of COVID-19, thus covering roughly 90% of the country.
However, during a back-and-forth with reporters, Biden admitted that the decision would certainly spark legal challenges, based on the lack of constitutional backing, but vowed to move forward anyway in the hopes of buying enough time to keep the program alive.
“I can’t guarantee you the court won’t rule that we don’t have that authority but at least we’ll have the ability to, if we have to appeal, to keep this going for a month-at least. I hope longer,” Biden told reporters.
The White House immediately scrambled to do damage control after it appeared that the president had just admitted that he issued the eviction moratorium extension knowing full well that it was unlawful.
Several GOP lawmakers have begun suggesting that it’s time to consider the idea of bringing impeachment charges against Biden and members of his administration, based on a number of failures, including COVID-19 response, the immigration crisis at the southern border, and other issues.
Rep. Roy made clear in a recent Twitter post that he believes Biden’s eviction moratorium is legitimate grounds for his impeachment.
Edit: it is absolutely impeachable, sane or not. In a sane world, Congress would act immediately to demand answers. Same with the border. And then impeach if (when?) not answered. #ImpeachBiden (& #ImpeachMayorkas). https://t.co/qk4FFvqR8p
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) August 6, 2021
Given the fact that Democrats hold a small majority in the lower chamber, the likelihood of Biden’s impeachment remains slim.
However, with the increased chatter about the possibility of impeachment for a number of issues, Republicans seem to be laying the groundwork for making such moves after the 2022 midterm elections, as they’re predicted to win enough seats to gain majority control.