- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention banned evictions in areas of the country with imminent and high transmission of coronavirus on Tuesday, after a firestorm of criticism from Democrats following the lapse of a previous moratorium on Saturday.
'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 Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. 'This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people out of their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID - 19 spreads.
Obama said the announcement was expected, but warned that the new ban would face unconstitutional challenges and could be found unconstitutional. Biden said he hoped the measure would buy time for the administration and states to continue enacting a $47 billion rental assistance program that has languished since Congress approved it late last year.
The new moratorium by the CDC would apply to counties with high rates of coronavirus infections, according to two people familiar with the matter, and would cover about 80% of U.S. counties and 90% of renters, said one of the people. The move shows the extent to which the spread of the delta variant has upended the administration's agenda.
Biden said at the White House that the new moratorium 'is likely to face obstacles, given indications by a majority of justices on the Supreme Court that the CDC's expired ban wasn't legal. He said his administration has been urging states and localities to more efficiently distribute the billions of dollars Congress created to help struggling renters and landlords.
'I've sought 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 most likely passed on to muster constitutionally? Why has Biden questioned his positions? 'The bulk of constitutional scholarship says it's not likely to pass constitutional muster, number one. There are several key scholars who say it may and it's worth the effort.
The new moratorium will last for three days until Oct. 3 : Additional details of the plan were not immediately clear.
The move to create a new eviction moratorium was applauded by many Democratic lawmakers and housing advocates. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a day of 'extraordinary relief' and said the new ban will provide time for Congress to flood the cash which was allocated by Congress as it helps to stop the spread of virus due to delta variant and protects families and landlords.
The executive director of the activist group MoveOn.org, Rahna Epting, said pressure from progressive lawmakers had forced the Biden administration to act on a new moratorium. She cited Representative Cori Bush of Missouri, who slept at the Capitol for several nights beginning on Friday to protest the expiration of the previous ban.
'She showed us the urgency and substance of this and how it will affect millions of people. This could have quietly gone into the night if she hadn't organized and protested, Epting said.
The Biden White House faced days of harsh criticism from its own party for the lapse in the eviction moratorium on 31 July. Advocates says millions of Americans could potentially 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've indicated to the CDC that I'd like them look at other alternatives than one in existence, which court has declared they're not going to allow to continue, although there may be an issue between the courts. '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 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 already approved.
Biden said that 'at a minimum' litigation over the new moratorium will give some additional time while we are giving that $45 billion out to people who haven't got the money and are behind in the rent.