Story at a glance:

  • House Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) have been sleeping outside the Capitol since last Friday night.
  • The representatives hope to encourage House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reconvene a vote and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer to support extending the federal rent moratorium.
  • Judges in Cincinnati are already accepting eviction cases, arguing that the CDC-recommended moratorium was unconstitutional.

Three congresswomen are sleeping on the Capitol steps in protest of the rent moratorium that protected tenants from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic recession.

House Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) have been sleeping outside the Capitol since last Friday night in support of extending the federal eviction moratorium, which expired last Saturday at midnight, CBS News reported.


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Spearheaded by Bush, the stunt is intended to encourage House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reconvene a vote in the lower chamber and Majority Leader Charles Schumer to lead an extension of the federal rent moratorium.

"It's not OK to just sit back and allow 7 million people, possibly upwards of 7 million people to be at risk for eviction in a little more than 24 hours," Bush told CBS News. "We can't just sit back and allow that. As a sitting member of Congress, it's our duty— it's my duty, to make sure that I'm representing everyone in my district."

As Changing America previously reported, some renters will be evicted from their apartments and houses after the federal moratorium expired on the last day of July.

In states like Florida, where there are few renter protections, the rate of evictions that are predicted to occur were described as an “avalanche,” Changing America reported. 

That avalanche has already started in some cities.  Judges in Cincinnati were accepting eviction cases this spring, arguing that the moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was unconstitutional.

In places like Charlotte, N.C., judges immediately began taking in eviction cases, according to The New York Times.

And when it comes to relieving renters and property owners with assistance, the federal government has been slow to distribute funds it initially promised. Congress promised $46 billion of rental assistance to tenants, formally called the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance program, but only $3 billion has been paid out to tenants, according to CBS News.


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Published on Aug 03, 2021