The Biden administration announced a new ban on evictions for many renters on Tuesday, just days after the White House allowed a nationwide moratorium to expire on Saturday, infuriating progressive House Democrats who warned that millions of people could lose their homes.
As President Biden hinted at during his Tuesday afternoon news conference, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drafted a new eviction moratorium to protect tenants in counties with substantial and high levels of community transmission of COVID - 19. The Associated Press reports that more than 90% of the U.S. population lives in affected communities.
The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people out of their homes and from congregate settings where COVID - 19 spreads It is imperative that health authorities act immediately to mitigate such an increase of evictions, which could increase the likelihood of new spikes in SARS-CoV - 2 transmission. Such mass evictions and attendant public health consequences would be very difficult to reverse.
Consideration of another pause came after immense pressure from progressive legislators for Biden to act quickly and extend the moratorium after the White House punted the issue to Congress last week, arguing their hands were tied by a recent Supreme Court that implied most justices believed the CDC had exceeded its authority with the ban.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS JUST 6.5% OF AVAILABLE RENTAL AID IN FIRST HALVE OF 2021 DISTRIBUTED KAPAN QUAD RELATION STREET 2
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had asked the CDC on Sunday to extend the moratorium for 30 days, but said the agency was unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium. Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all necessary legal authorities to provide necessary protections.
Psaki said Tuesday that the administration was considering installing a partial temporary extension, though she said no decisions had yet been made.
A similar eleventh-hour effort in the House to keep the ban alive until the end of the year also failed after Democrats were unable to secure the necessary support from at least a dozen members of their own caucus. Even if the Senate passed a measure extending the ban, it almost certainly would have died in the 50 - 50 Senate.
House Democrats and the White House simultaneously shifted their attention over the weekend to expediting the distribution of $46 billion in rent relief that Congress approved in December and March. Treasury figures show that only $3 billion, or roughly 6.6% of the money, was doled out during the first half of the year.
There could be no excuse for any state or locality not accelerating funds to landlords and tenants hurt during this pandemic, Biden said in a statement issued Friday evening.
Still, Democrats were unrelenting in their urging of Biden to extend the ban unilaterally.
I wish the President CDC would have extended the moratorium and went forward, Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said to The Times on Monday. They have the power to do that. I think he would have gone in and he should have done it and let the chips fall where they may.
Grateful, tweeted. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. sharing an image of several House Democrats who camped outside the Capitol in protest of the eviction ban's end.