House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is ‘hopeful’ the Biden administration will revive an eviction moratorium after White House officials released a statement they are seeking legal authority to extend it.
House Democrats want the Biden administration to take action after a last-minute demand for Congress to extend the moratorium. The request from President Joe Biden left Democrats with too little time to negotiate an extension among party lawmakers and they left town for a seven-week recess without passing any legislation.
“The Administration’s statement that they will be taking action to find legal authority by the CDC or other authorities to extend the moratorium is welcome,” Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in a statement Monday. “For the good of families on the verge of eviction, my Democratic House colleagues and I are hopeful that this initiative to extend the moratorium will be successful as soon as possible.”
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Monday that Biden has directed aides “to assemble all federal agencies to reexamine whether there are any other authorities to take additional action to stop evictions.”
However, the Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky and staff “have been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium” past July 30.
Biden is also working with states to speed up the distribution of $46.5 billion in federal aid intended for both renters and landlords, and he is asking states to extend the eviction moratorium “for at least the next two months.”
Democrats were unable to pass an eviction moratorium extension due to objections from some party lawmakers who say the moratorium is hurting landlords and should end now that economies are reopening.
But the advance of the COVID-19 delta variant has renewed calls to extend pandemic protections.
The Biden administration said it is now urgent to extend the moratorium to help contain the delta variant.
Democrats, who control majorities in the House and Senate, have faced backlash from their liberal base for failing to extend the moratorium prior to the August recess.
A group of liberal Democrats and activists began camping out on the Capitol steps Friday to spotlight the looming eviction crisis and criticized fellow lawmakers “who chose early vacation over voting to prevent evictions.”
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