Top House Democrats called on the Biden administration on Sunday to extend the eviction moratorium amid the coronavirus pandemic, just hours after the ban expired, putting millions of Americans at risk of being evicted.
“Action is required, and it must be initiated by the Administration. That is why House leadership is urging the Administration to extend the moratorium immediately “In a joint statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md. ), Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Md.) The group cited the rising risks associated with COVID-19, particularly the highly infectious delta variant spreading across the country, as reasons for extending the moratorium until Oct. 18.
“As the CDC ramps up mask-wearing and vaccination efforts, science and reason demand that the moratorium be extended in light of the delta variant,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is a moral imperative to prevent people from being thrown out on the street, which also contributes to the public health emergency.”
The eviction moratorium expired at midnight on Saturday, two days after the House went on recess after failing to reach an agreement on an extension.
On Thursday, three days before it was set to expire, the Biden administration urged Congress to pass an emergency extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction ban.
The Supreme Court ruled last month that, while the CDC’s moratorium could be extended until its expiration date, the agency overstepped its authority when it imposed the ban.
According to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the ban could not be extended past its expiration date without a congressional act.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the leading Democrats contended that extending the moratorium in the House “will not be sufficient” because the Senate would not be able to approve a bill. “The President asked Congress on Thursday to extend the eviction moratorium. Unfortunately, it is clear that the Senate will not be able to do so, and any legislation passed by the House will not be sufficient to extend the moratorium “the leaders penned
Some Democratic Party members, on the other hand, are dissatisfied with their colleagues’ inability to pass an extension.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Sunday that Democrats cannot “in good faith blame the Republican Party” for the eviction ban’s expiration because Democrats control the House. Progressive lawmakers, led by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo. ), who had previously been homeless, camped out in front of the Capitol on Friday night to protest the moratorium’s expiration. She urged House leadership to reconvene the lower chamber in order to pass the extension.
Top Democratic lawmakers, on the other hand, are now tossing the ball to the Treasury Department, urging it to “indicate how the funds that it has already transferred to states and communities can be distributed more effectively to renters and landlords.”
“The virus is still a danger. The moratorium must be extended, and the funds appropriated by Congress to help renters and landlords must be spent. The moratorium has been extended based on public health and the delta variant. It will also provide more time for the money appropriated by Congress to begin flowing,” the lawmakers went on to say.