Democrats are looking to reinstate the now expired eviction moratorium to avoid a public health emergency. The federal eviction moratorium expired on July 31, 2021.
Last week, two days before the eviction moratorium expired, President Joe Biden asked Congress to extend the suspension, which protects renters from being evicted for their failure to pay rent during the pandemic.
“In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the President calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
“Given the recent spread of the Delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability,” Psaki said.
Back in June, the Supreme Court decided not to lift the eviction notice because of how soon its expiration date was. Landlords, trade associations, and real estate companies filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for money lost during the pandemic because of the federal moratorium. The challengers of the eviction ban believe that the CDC shifted the financial burden from renters to landlords around the nation.
“Because the C.D.C plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in an opinion.
The Justice also wrote in the opinion that “clear and specific congressional authorization (through new legislation) would be necessary for the C.D.C to extend the moratorium past July 31.”
The President’s lack of urgency puts Congress in a chokehold. The Biden administration is turning its focus to distributing money in unspent housing assistance.
“The real issue here is how to get money to renters who, through no fault of their own, are behind on their rent, to help landlords keep those renters in their home, which is a win-win,” Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, said during an interview with Fox News on Sunday.
“All that money is there. The states have the tools, the localities have the tools and there’s no excuse. They need to move the money to the renters and the landlords immediately,” Deese said.
Representative Cori Bush slept outside of the Capitol over the weekend in protest against the expiration. Bush knows firsthand how devastating evictions can be for families — she was evicted three times and slept in her car with her two children before becoming an elected official.
“Today, by midnight, if nothing happens, if no other action is taken from the House, or the Senate or the administration, 7 million people will be at risk for evictions,” the Congresswoman told reports. “I’ve been there myself.
According to the Aspen Institute, 6.5 million U.S. households are behind in rent – totaling $20 billion.
The Congresswoman wants her colleagues to return to Washington D.C. to solve the problem and save renters.
“How can we go vacation? No, we need to come back here,” Representative Bush said on Saturday to Jessica Dean on CNN’s “Newsroom.”
— Poli Alert (@polialertcom) July 31, 2021
“We need to buy some time so that we can talk to moderate Democrats and… see how we can work together to get this done.”