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Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) offered an amendment to modify the definition of an “eligible household” under the Emergency Rental Assistance program. His amendment would target eligibility of tens of billions in COVID rental assistance funding to American families in the greatest need of assistance. 

Read the amendment here.  

Transcript:
“Thank you – my amendment makes a simple change to the definition of “eligible household” to receive emergency rental assistance.

In being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars, we must target the emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds to those who have the highest need – the low-income households who had their financial livelihoods wrecked by COVID. And that is the goal here, with my amendment.

Under ERA1, which passed in a bipartisan manner, an eligible household must have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.

The Democrats’ “Expediting Assistance to Renters and Landlords Act” changes this definition of “eligible household” for ERA funds to state that “an eligible household must have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship, during or due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.” …During or due….

So, under Maxine Waters’ bill, taxpayer dollars could go to any American that, well, simply lost money during COVID, regardless of whether they lost money BECAUSE of COVID. So technically, as the bill reads, if I lost all of my money gambling in Las Vegas, I could be eligible for emergency rental assistance, all on the taxpayer’s dime.

I don’t need to elaborate further why this language is entirely unhelpful.

So, my amendment would simply change the base law to read that an eligible household is one that suffered financial hardship due DIRECTLY to COVID. This amendment creates a standard that actually targets the ERA funds to the families who need it most.

I know my colleagues will join me in supporting this amendment, which ensures that Congress is acting responsibly with the taxpayer dollars and ensures that Congress is specifically targeting the communities that need aid the most.”

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