Congress Fails To Extend The Federal Eviction Moratorium

Thousands of people may get evicted in the US as Congress has failed to extend the federal eviction moratorium that is set to expire on Saturday. As told by two senior Democratic aides to NBC News, many House Democrats, about a dozen of them, opposed extending the eviction moratorium. Rep. Maxine Waters wanted a vote, however, that would have forced the members to have their positions on the extension publicly known, something that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t want since that would have given progressives the perfect opportunity to blame specific Democrats for the failure, as told by one of the aides to NBC News. In the end, when Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tried to pass it using unanimous consent, the effort ultimately collapsed when a Republican member objected. Congress is now leaving for several weeks and will not come back until September 20.

“I call on all state and local governments to take all possible steps to immediately disburse these funds given the imminent ending of the CDC eviction moratorium,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “Every state and local government must get these funds out to ensure we prevent every eviction we can.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned while supporting the extension that the American Rescue Plan that was passed in December provides a lot of support to renters and housing providers. “This emergency assistance was accompanied by a moratorium on residential evictions that kept millions of renters stably housed during the pandemic," she said. “Of the more than $46 billion provided by Congress, only $3 billion has been distributed to renters by state and local governments. Families must not pay the price for that. Congress must act again.”

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, explained in a recent statement that if not for the Supreme Court, the President would have supported a decision by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to extend the eviction moratorium. “In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the President calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay.”

“I oppose this rushed partisan legislation for several reasons,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers recently testified. “First, the bill before us does not provide clear and specific clarification on CDC’s authority. It simply extends the CDC’s moratorium, based on an authority the courts have ruled does not exist. The reason this bill simply extends the unlawful order is because it was written last night at the last minute, despite the White House and congressional Democrats’ full knowledge for over a month that this moratorium would lapse absent congressional action.”

Rep. Maxine Waters described the situation as a "crisis" and mentioned that Congress should not delay in taking action. “When an emergency occurs, you have to determine what are you going to do with it," she said. "Is it an emergency enough that you're going to stop families from being put on the sidewalk? Is it an emergency enough that you're going to need to wonder what the hell is going to happen with these children that won't be able to go back to school because they don't even know where they're going to be sleeping?"