On The Money: Biden issues targeted eviction moratorium | GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal

On The Money: Biden issues targeted eviction moratorium | GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal
© Greg Nash

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THE BIG DEAL—Biden administration issues targeted eviction moratorium: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced  Tuesday a targeted eviction moratorium after a wide-ranging federal ban expired over the weekend.

  • The new order will ban evictions until Oct. 3 in counties with high rates of COVID-19 transmission aligning with areas where the CDC recommends even vaccinated residents wear masks while indoors.
  • The order applies to tenants who were unable to pay rent due to a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but does not protect those facing eviction for reasons other than non-payment of rent, including violent or criminal conduct.
  • The ban will cover roughly 90 percent of U.S renters.

The Hill’s Brett Samuels and I have the latest here.

How we got here: 

  • The move comes after days of outcry from Democrats over the lapsed federal moratorium, which had been in place in some form since the early months of the pandemic. 
  • The White House had insisted Monday its hands were tied and only Congress could pass an extension, but Democratic leaders said the Biden administration was in a position to act.

“Democrats have worked tirelessly for this action, which is based on public health needs," 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.) said in a statement. "This brand new moratorium will provide time for the money allocated by Congress to flow, as it helps stop the spread of the virus which is worsening due to the delta variant and protects families and landlords.  I am especially pleased about what this means to the children who have had uncertainty about their housing, their health and their education.”

Members of "the Squad," including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Photos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who has been demonstrating on the steps of the Capitol for the past five days, also celebrated the major victory for progressives. 

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What comes next: Well, probably a lot of lawsuits. The original CDC eviction ban drew several legal challenges, which led to the Supreme Court’s June warning about the likelihood of another extension, and this one is likely to do the same. White House officials said as recently as yesterday that the CDC couldn’t find legal authority for a more tailored ban, and Biden acknowledged today that the new moratorium also faces legal risks.

"Whether that option will pass constitutional measure with this administration, I can’t tell you. I don’t know," Biden said. "There are a few scholars who say it will, and others who say it’s not likely to. But, at a minimum, by the time it gets litigated it will probably give some additional time while we’re getting that $45 billion out to people who are in fact behind in the rent and don’t have the money.

LEADING THE DAY

GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal: The bipartisan infrastructure bill unveiled Sunday night is riding a wave of momentum, but its supporters will soon face the tough job of selling it to skeptical Republican senators who are asking how much it will add to the federal deficit.

Seventeen Republican senators voted last week to begin the debate on the legislation — more than enough to push the compromise package across the finish line — but there’s no guarantee they will also vote in favor of the bill for final passage. Whether the legislation passes the Senate rests largely on the internal political dynamics of the Senate GOP conference.

  • GOP leaders say a lot will depend on the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) assessment of the legislation. 
  • Some Republicans are also expressing concerns over provisions in the bill related to the expansion of broadband internet access in rural and other underserved areas.

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton explains here.

New York City to require vaccination for indoor activities, restaurants, gyms: New York City will require proof of vaccination for workers and customers who want to participate in indoor activities including dining in restaurants, working out in gyms and attending theater performances, Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThree arrested for allegedly assaulting NYC hostess who asked for COVID-19 vaccine proof Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report Ocasio-Cortez defends attendance of Met Gala amid GOP uproar MORE (D) announced Tuesday.

The policy is one of the first of its kind in the United States and comes amid a nationwide spike in COVID-19 infections, driven largely by the spread of the delta variant in people who are unvaccinated.

"It's time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary for living a good, full and healthy life," de Blasio said. "If you're unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things." The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel has more on the potential impact here.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • A coalition of gig economy companies including Uber, Lyft and Doordash is looking to replicate its success in California by seeking a ballot measure in Massachusetts that would define their workers as independent contractors.
  • The American Bakers Association, which represents baked goods companies such as Krispy Kreme and Pepperidge Farm, is pushing the Biden administration to lessen biofuel requirements
  • American face mask manufacturers are warning that they will soon go broke without government support, potentially ceding domestic mask production amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.