Biden to introduce new measures to protect struggling tenantes

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Biden to introduce new measures to protect struggling tenantes

- President Joe Biden said U.S. authorities plan to introduce new measures aimed at protecting struggling tenantes after an eviction moratorium lapsed days ago, setting off a firestorm of criticism from fellow Democrats and housing advocates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new moratorium would apply to counties with high rates of coronavirus infections, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move shows the extent to which the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus has upended administration agenda.

Biden, speaking at the White House on Tuesday, acknowledged that any call for a moratorium 'is likely to face obstacles given indications by a majority of justices on Supreme Court that the previous moratorium wasn't legal. He said his administration has been urging states and localities to distribute $47 billion Congress provided to help struggling renters and landlords.

'I seek out constitutional scholars to determine what is the best possibility that would come from executive action or the CDC's judgment - what could they do that was most likely to pass muster constitutionally? Biden said. The bulk of constitutional scholarship says it is likely not pass constitutional muster, number one. But there are several outstanding scholars who say that it can and is worth the effort.

The new moratorium will last until Oct. 3 and cover about 80% of U.S. counties and 90% of renters, one of the people said.

Additional details of the plan were not immediately clear. Spokespeople for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House didn't immediately comment. The people familiar with the matter asked not to be identified ahead of the announcement.

The Biden White House faced days of harsh criticism from its own party for the lapse in the eviction moratorium on 31 July 2015. Advocates noted it was possible that millions of Americans could be forced from their homes as Covid 19 cases surged.

The White House spent days trying to explain the legal reasoning behind an initial CDC decision that it couldn't issue another extension and sent top officials to Capitol Hill, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, to answer lawmakers' questions.

Biden said : 'I told the CDC that I'd like them to look at alternative options than one in existence which the court has declared they are not going to allow to continue, and what other evidence indicates this hasn't happened. 'And the CDC will have something to announce to you in the next hour to two hours.

Earlier Tuesday, Yellen faced considerable anger from House Democrats who demanded the administration take immediate action to extend the ban on evictions according to multiple people who participated in the call.

Yellen stressed that the Administration was focused on getting states and localities to more quickly distribute the rental assistance Congress has already approved.

Biden said that 'at a minimum' litigation over the new moratorium will give some additional time while we are getting that $45 billion out to people who in fact are behind in the rent and don't have the money.