House

Progressives camp outside Capitol to protest evictions

Several House progressives slept outside the Capitol on Friday night to protest the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium.

Democratic Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) slept outside the Capitol in protest after the House adjourned for summer recess without garnering enough votes to pass legislation extending the eviction ban ahead of its expiration on Sunday.

“Many of my Democratic colleagues chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes. I’ll be sleeping outside the Capitol tonight. We’ve still got work to do,” Bush tweeted.

Omar wrote on Twitter that “so many people are at risk of homelessness in our district and many have already experienced it. We are out here for them.”

 

Pressley added in her own tweet, “We’ve got you, Sis. Extend the #EvictionMoratorium.”

The protest came after a last-minute effort to extend the eviction ban failed.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) tried to pass a bill Friday afternoon that would have renewed the moratorium through Oct. 18, but Republicans objected.

The legislation’s failure was also due in part to Democrats not being able to unite around a path, which they said was due to the one-day notice they were given by the Biden administration.

President Biden urged Congress to extend the eviction ban on Thursday, insisting that his administration no longer had the authority to extend the ban due to a Supreme Court ruling.

Bush, who previously experienced homelessness, told a reporter that ensuring housing is “the least” Congress could do.

“Congress is at recess. How do we do vacation when we know our people are about to be on the street?” Bush asked.

“Housing is a basic necessity. How dare we not make sure our people have it?” Bush continued. “That’s the least we can do is make sure your basic needs are met.”

Saturday morning, Bush made one more plea for colleagues to extend the moratorium.

“Good morning. The eviction moratorium expires tonight at midnight. We could have extended it yesterday, but some Democrats went on vacation instead,” she tweeted.

“We slept at the Capitol last night to ask them to come back and do their jobs. Today’s their last chance. We’re still here,” Bush said.

Tags Ayanna Pressley Cori Bush Eviction moratorium Ilhan Omar Joe Biden progressives Steny Hoyer
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