Trump Pauses Evictions, Foreclosures as AOC Calls for Rent “Suspension”

Trump Pauses Evictions, Foreclosures as AOC Calls for Rent “Suspension”

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President Trump announced on Wednesday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will temporarily suspend all home foreclosures and evictions through the end of April due to coronavirus.

Speaking in a press conference from the White House, the president said he was working with HUD Secretary Ben Carson on the policy.

“HUD will suspend all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April,” President Trump said.

The move was not very different from actions being pushed by avowed democratic socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her progressive allies.

In a seeming allusion to the Trump administration’s plan to send most Americans a check, which is part of an estimated trillion-dollar stimulus plan that would surpass the cost of Barack Obama’s 2009 program, Ocasio-Cortez asserted that merely giving citizens money isn’t enough — the government should suspend payment of rent, mortgages, and student loans.

“What people are dealing with is a liquidity issue,” the first-term congresswoman told 1010 WINS. “While cutting checks is an important part of an equation, I don’t think it’s going to help if it’s the only action that’s taken. We need to take a look at mortgage, rent and student loan payment suspension to give people that buffer time.”

The lawmaker said “bold action” is needed to address the strain on the economy — a strain the government itself has provoked by restricting business operations in the wake of the virus.

Of course, on the one hand, we have the public health concern, but the second is an economic concern. We really need to take very bold action right now to make sure that we protect our moms and pops, our local restaurants, small businesses and also everyday people: freelancers, hourly workers whose incomes are getting cut back dramatically and in an unprecedented fashion and I believe we need to take a lot of action to pass those folks through.

The stimulus package being worked out by the White House and Congress would inject cash into affected industries, including $50 billion for the airline industry.

Ocasio-Cortez, however, said she would rather see money go to the development of public transportation — a common left-wing cause.

“I personally think that it’s much more worthwhile for us to bail out our public transportation than the airline industry…. That investment in public infrastructure hasn’t happened,” she argued. “I support federal funds to MTA and I personally would like to see the MTA be free or extraordinarily reduced.”

Ocasio-Cortez isn’t alone. Her former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, leader of New Consensus (the group that authored the Green New Deal), laid out an ask list of coronavirus responses that includes rent and mortgage suspension and a $2,000 monthly living stipend for every American.

Universal Basic Income (UBI), the idea that the government should give all citizens a monthly check just for being alive, has been gaining traction in progressive circles. Its proponents view the coronavirus situation as a way of gaining public support for the idea — and they see President Trump’s proposed stimulus as a validation of their doctrine.

In fact, former Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang, who made UBI one of the chief tenets of his campaign, said he has been in touch with the White house about incorporating direct cash assistance into a federal COVID-19 response.

Chakrabarti claimed the action needed from the federal government should parallel national mobilization efforts from the Great Depression and World War II.

Fittingly, President Trump declared on Wednesday that he is invoking the Defense Production Act, calling himself a “wartime president.”

“It can do a lot of good things if we need it,” he said at the White House. “We’ll have it all completed, signing it in just a little while.”

The act is described by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as “the primary source of presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base to support military, energy, space and homeland security programs.”

The president is using the act to gain more authority to increase the manufacture and distribution of emergency medical supplies, including masks, ventilators, and respirators.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the Defense Department will make up to five million masks available from U.S. strategic reserves.

“The first 1 million masks will be available immediately,” he said.

Reprinted with permission from The New American

 

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