The Congressional Black Caucus on Monday called on the White House to take the initiative and extend the federal eviction moratorium that ended on Sunday to October.
“The eviction moratorium ended yesterday, and this means that thousands of Black families and children could lose the roof over their heads at a time when the deadly pandemic is surging once again, and their lives are in disorder due to the pandemic,” Rep. Joyce BeattyJoyce Birdson BeattyHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Activists gear up for voting rights march to mark King anniversary GOP hopefuls fight for Trump's favor in Ohio Senate race MORE (D-Ohio), the chairwoman of the Black Caucus, said in a statement.
“The virus is still a threat,” Beatty continued, “and the moratorium must be extended, and the funds Congress allocated to assist renters and landlords must be spent.”
Comprehensive eviction data can be hard to come by, but analyses from the Princeton Eviction Lab show that Black and Hispanic people are routinely at higher risks to be evicted from their homes.
The expiration of the moratorium — originally put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year as an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 — has Democrats scrambling to find a solution.
On Thursday, President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE implored Congress to pass legislation that would extend the moratorium, citing that his administration no longer had the power to extend the stopgap due to a June decision by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court narrowly ruled to leave the CDC’s mandate in place but noted that further extension of the moratorium would require an act of Congress.
But his request came only hours before the House was slated to adjourn for its summer recess. As a result, House Democrats were unable to put together an eleventh-hour bill and the moratorium expired as scheduled at midnight Saturday.
Beatty, in her statement, pointed to “obstructionism by House Republicans” as the reason why a deal wasn’t able to be struck, but progressives have said that Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.
“House and House leadership had the opportunity to vote to extend the moratorium, and there were many, and there was, frankly, a handful of conservative Democrats in the House that threatened to get on planes rather than hold this vote," Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Fauci responds to Nicki Minaj's vaccine worries MORE on Sunday.
“We have to really just call a spade a spade. We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have a majority.”
Progressive Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) has slept on the Capitol steps since Friday night in protest of the moratorium’s lapsing.
Over the weekend, Bush was joined by Ocasio-Cortez as well as Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHaitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes Advocates 'in utter disbelief' after Biden resumes Haitian repatriations Democratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels MORE (D-Mass.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill MORE (D-Minn.).
“It’s an eviction emergency. Our people need an eviction moratorium. Now,” Bush tweeted Monday morning.
5 AM. This morning felt cold, like the wind was blowing straight through my sleeping bag.— Cori Bush (@CoriBush)August 2, 2021
Since Friday—when some colleagues chose early vacation over voting to prevent evictions—we’ve been at the Capitol.
It’s an eviction emergency. Our people need an eviction moratorium. Now.
Beatty said the Black Caucus “stands in solidarity with our sister, Congresswoman Cori Bush, and the other members of Congress, who have refused to move from the steps of the U.S. Capitol to call attention to the lack of action.“
The White House is also feeling pressure from top House Democrats.
“Action is needed, and it must come from the Administration. That is why House leadership is calling on the Administration to immediately extend the moratorium,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Hoyer affirms House will vote Sept. 27 on bipartisan infrastructure bill House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (D-Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Assistant Speaker Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkPelosi, moderates inch closer to infrastructure, budget deal House Democrats return to advance Biden's agenda in face of crises CBC presses Biden to extend eviction moratorium MORE (D-Mass.) wrote in a joint statement Sunday.
“Doing so is a moral imperative to keep people from being put out on the street which also contributes to the public health emergency.”