The Biden administration is expected to declare a new ban on evictions for some renters on Tuesday, days after the White House allowed a nationwide moratorium to expire on Saturday, infuriating progressive House Democrats who warned that millions of Americans could lose their homes.
Officials at the White House and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention drafted a new policy that will protect tenants in counties with elevated rates of COVID infections, the New York Times reported. Details are still unclear, but the freezing could remain in place for up to 60 days, the Times reported, citing congressional aides and other officials familiar with the matter.
One Democratic aide suggested the halt could cover up to 90% of renters in the U.S.
President Biden told reporters that CDC will release the new guidelines sometime this evening.
Reason for another pause comes after intense pressure from progressive legislators for Biden to act quickly and extend the moratorium after the White House finally punted the issue to Congress last week, arguing their hands were tied by a recent Supreme Court that implied most of the justices believed the CDC had exceeded its authority with the ban.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS DIBUTED JUST 6.5% OF THE AVAILABLE REITABILITY AID IN FIRST HALF OF 2021.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden had asked the CDC on Sunday to consider extending the moratorium for 30 days but said the agency h as been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium. Our team is redoubling efforts to provide necessary security authorities to identify all available legal authorities to provide appropriate protections.
However, Psaki said Tuesday the administration was considering installing a short term partial extension, though she said no decisions had been made yet.
A similar eleventh-hour effort in the House to keep the ban alive until the end of the year failed on the grounds that Democrats were unable to secure needed support from at least a dozen members of their own caucus. Even if the House had passed a measure prolonging the ban, it almost certainly would have died in the 50 - 50 senator.
House Democrats and the White House both switched their attention over the weekend to expediting the distribution of $46 billion in rental assistance approved by Congress in December and March. Treasury Data shows that just $3 billion, or roughly 6.6% of the money, was doled out during the first half of the year.
There can be no excuse for any locality to not accelerate funding to landlords and tenants who hurt during this pandemic, Biden said in a statement on Friday evening.
Still, Democrats were unrelenting in their urging to Biden to extend the ban unilaterally.
On Monday, Rep. Maxine Waters told the Times that the president, the CDC, would have extended the moratorium and went forward with the decision, so Rep. Maxine Waters, the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, could have gone forward and signed the moratorium. They have the power to do that. I think he should have gone in and he should have done it, and let the chips fall where they might.
Without the eviction halt that was first proposed by the CDC in September, more than 15 million people living in the United States who are behind on their rental payments could face eviction, according to a published Wednesday by the Aspen Institute and COVID - 19 Eviction Defense Project.