Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Biden clarifies comments comparing African American and Latino communities Kanye West may have missed deadline to get on Wisconsin ballot by minutes: report MORE pressed President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE and Congress to enact an emergency housing package after ramped up unemployment benefits and an eviction moratorium that have expired.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic 2020 nominee, also hammered Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks Overnight Health Care: Ohio governor tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Trump's visit | US shows signs of coronavirus peak, but difficult days lie ahead | Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) for allowing the Senate to head home despite ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill for the next coronavirus relief package. Progress on the negotiations has been slow amid disagreements on a list of issues, including the level of federal unemployment benefits. 

“Today is the first day of another month where rent and mortgage payments are due for millions of Americans who are already living on the edge. It comes a day after President Trump and Leader McConnell sent the Senate home for the weekend and allowed enhanced unemployment insurance, which millions of families have been using to pay their rent and bills, to lapse,” Biden said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Because Donald Trump is abdicating his responsibility to lead us out of the pandemic crisis and the economic crisis, we now face a potential housing crisis across the country,” he added. “To prevent a catastrophic rise in evictions and homelessness, President Trump must work with Congress to act swiftly and enact a broad emergency housing support program for renters, just as we would in the aftermath of a natural disaster.” 

Biden’s statement comes on the first day of August, when rent is due and families find themselves facing new financial hurdles in light of the expiration of the unemployment benefits Friday and the eviction moratorium on July 24.

Biden said Congress should “provide emergency unemployment benefits, greater access to food and nutrition programs, and full subsidies to allow families to keep their health insurance,” adding that doing so could “put the nation in a much stronger position to handle the strain the virus is putting on millions of Americans and our entire economy.”

The statement comes as Republicans and Democrats in Washington clash over the details of the next coronavirus relief package. President Trump and Republicans have suggested a short term deal addressing only unemployment and evictions, but Democrats have maintained they want one big package to address the pandemic.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Trump backs plan to give airlines another billion in aid MORE (D-N.Y.) met Saturday morning with White House Chief of Staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays MORE in what participants said was the most productive meeting yet.

“We’re not close yet, but it was a productive discussion. Now each side knows where they're at,” Schumer told reporters after the meeting. 

Mnuchin added that the meeting, which lasted over three hours, was the “most productive we've had to date.”