“#CancelRent” episode of Today, Explained

Transcription of Denny Heck’s piece in “#CancelRent” episode of Today, Explained.

When the link opens, click on the “#CancelRent” segment at the top of the list.

Haleema Shah (Host): “Congress knows about the circumstances of people like Sammy. There
are a few efforts moving forward right now that could help people with housing. Washington
State Congressman Denny Heck introduced a bill that passed the House this summer.”

Congressman Denny Heck: “We introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance Act, providing
100 billion dollars to provide rent relief to those who are particularly stressed by the current

HS: “It provides billions to help homeowners with their mortgages, too. And it extends the
eviction moratorium on federally funded housing. What it doesn’t do is cancel the rent or create
a blanket ban on evictions for all renters. Heck says that extending eviction moratoriums alone
will pass expenses off to others, like mom and pop landlords.”

DH: “A family that decides, instead of building a 401k for their retirement, they’re going to buy
duplexes. That’s their retirement program. They have mortgages on those duplexes, and if we
grant an eviction moratorium, all that does is transfer the problem to this couple who has got
their retirement nest egg in the form of these duplexes, for example, that the bill comes due on,
and then they get foreclosed on.”

HS: “Denny Heck’s bill was wrapped into the HEROES Act, a second proposed Coronavirus
relief package that was passed by Democrats in the house. But the bill doesn’t have much of a
shot in the Republican-led Senate.”

DH: “I think there are some Senate Republicans that are beginning to understand the nature of
the need here. Whether or not we can get them there by the end of the month or the first part of
August remains to be seen.”

HS: “Republicans might support a second relief package, but it’s unclear if their version would
target evictions. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Kids in school,
jobs, and healthcare are likely to be the focus of the bill I’ll be laying out, probably next week.””

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The changes under consideration “would be very meaningful because it would be memorializing their commitment to working toward a tighter labor market when the economic circumstances allow for it,” said Rep. Denny Heck (D., Wash.), who is on the House Financial Services Committee. “It would be a huge break from the past.”