Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions

Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions
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President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE, in a late plea to prevent rental evictions as the federal government's moratorium is set to expire this weekend, urged local governments on Friday to use federal funding to block evictions.

"Every state and local government must get these funds out to ensure we prevent every eviction we can," Biden said in a statement released Friday evening.

"State and local governments can and should use both the Emergency Rental Assistance and their American Rescue Plan state and local funds to support policies with courts, community groups, and legal aid to ensure no one seeks an eviction when they have not sought out Emergency Rental Assistance funds," he continued."

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Biden emphasized that "there is no legal barrier to moratorium at the state and local level," while adding that his administration "will not rest – nor should state and local governments – until Emergency Rental Assistance dollars reach Americans in need."

Late last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) renewed the eviction ban through the end of July, saying it would be the last extension.

The Supreme Court also warned the Biden administration on June 29 that the CDC did not have the authority to issue the ban and that any further extensions would need to be enacted by Congress. 

Biden on Thursday urged Congress to extend the eviction moratorium, which has been in place throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but those calls for congressional action came just days before the moratorium was set to lapse on Sunday.

House Democratic leaders, some of whom were caught by surprise by Biden's last-minute statement calling for Congress to act, failed to round up enough votes on Friday to pass legislation extending the federal ban on evictions. Even if House Democrats had passed a bill, it would have all but certainly failed in the Senate due to widespread opposition from Republicans.