A nationwide moratorium on evictions, which was implemented last year to help Americans who weren’t able to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, expired over the weekend and House Democrats failed to vote on yet another extension.
According to Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hit the White House with a surprise jab on Sunday evening, issuing a statement in conjunction with a number of high-profile House Dems asking President Joe Biden to use his powers to extend the moratorium until mid-October.
“On Thursday, the President asked Congress to pass an extension of the eviction moratorium. Sadly, it is clear that the Senate is not able to do so, and any legislation in the House, therefore, will not be sufficient to extend the moratorium,” the statement read.
Pelosi added: “Action is needed, and it must come from the Administration. That is why House leadership is calling on the Administration to immediately extend the moratorium.”
The request came just days after the Biden administration placed the burden on Congress to pass an extension on the controversial program, but failed to do so. The Biden administration cited a recent Supreme Court ruling as its reason for not having the power to extend the ban on evictions, which apparently many House Democrats believe isn’t accurate.
Members of the “Squad,” including Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also banded together over the weekend and demanded that the Biden administration take immediate action to extend the program, complete with a protest held at the U.S. Capitol building.
As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spike case counts across the country, potentially setting up America for yet another round of lockdowns and restrictions, Pelosi warned of the importance of providing extended relief to out-of-work Americans.
“Doing so is a moral imperative to keep people from being put out on the street which also contributes to the public health emergency,” Pelosi wrote.
According to data from June and July, some 7.4 million Americans have reported that they’re behind on rent payments, with another 3.6 million indicating that they’re “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to face eviction in the coming months.