Millions of American families have been threatened, since Sunday, of being evicted from their homes while the Delta variant is raging on the other side of the Atlantic.
Yet billions of dollars of public funds intended to help tenants have still not been used.
President Joe Biden this week urged Congress to extend a moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents, which expired at midnight on Saturday.
But Republicans have opposed Democrats' efforts to extend the ban on evictions until mid-October.
Now, the elected representatives of the House of Representatives are on vacation until the end of August, and will be followed by the senators a week later, removing any hope of a quick agreement.
Blocking this measure is an "act of pure cruelty", "which throws children and families into the streets," said Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Twitter.
Ensuring every American has a roof overhead is a value that unites the Democratic Party.
That's why I led a relentless campaign to extend the CDC eviction moratorium.
In an act of pure cruelty, Republicans blocked this measure - leaving children and families out on the streets.
- Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 1, 2021
More than 10 million people in the United States are behind on their rent payments, calculated the CBPP, an independent research institute.
And some 3.6 million tenants estimate that they risk being evicted within two months, according to a study by the statistics office carried out in early July with 51 million tenants.
“If it happens, it happens (…).
I do what I have to do to survive, ”fatalistic Terriana Clark told regional news site NOLA.
Until now, the moratorium on evictions had allowed the 27-year-old Louisiana resident who was unemployed due to illness to escape eviction last month.
So here she is threatened with ending up on the street, she who says she has already lived most of 2020 in a car, with her husband and two children.
Great political confusion
Mary Hunt, a medical vehicle driver in Michigan, is also struggling to pay the rent of her mobile home, after being ill with Covid-19.
“If I lose this home, then (my five cats and my dog) come to live with me in the car.
People may well think that I am crazy, I will not abandon my family, ”she told NPR radio.
So many dramatic situations that follow three days of great political confusion.
Cori Bush, Democratic representative of the State of Missouri, cannot resign himself to it.
This elected, who was herself homeless, spent the night on Capitol Hill in Washington, joined by other elected officials from the left of the Democratic camp.
“We could have extended (the moratorium) yesterday, but some Democrats have gone on vacation instead.
We slept at the Capitol last night to ask them to come back and do their jobs, ”she said on Twitter on Saturday.
It's 2 AM on Sunday.
We haven't slept since Thursday night.
The eviction moratorium expired, so we're now in an eviction emergency.
11 million are now at risk of losing their homes at any moment.
The House needs to reconvene and put an end to this crisis.
- Cori Bush (@CoriBush) August 1, 2021
The suspension of evictions was put in place in September 2020 by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the main public health agency in the United States, then extended several times in the name of the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
But the Supreme Court ruled in June that any further extension had to be decided by Congress.
To add to the absurdity of the situation, the money provided by the federal government to help tenants in difficulty pay their rent barely makes it into their bank accounts, due to complex bureaucratic procedures.
Thus, of the 46 billion dollars planned by the government, including 25 billion disbursed in early February, only 3 billion have reached their destination.