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The eviction moratorium expires this Saturday, without an approved extension

2021-08-01T01:19:41.587Z

The eviction moratorium expires this Saturday, the House of Representatives went into recess without approving an extension.



Legal debate on the moratorium on evictions 2:02

(CNN) -

A moratorium on eviction for tenants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is on track to expire this Saturday night, after the House of Representatives suspended the session for the August recess without approving an extension.

Democratic leaders scrambled throughout Friday to try to find enough votes to extend the moratorium beyond the July 31 deadline, but to no avail.

Just after 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tried to pass a bill to extend the eviction moratorium by unanimous consent, but it was rejected by Republicans.

The Chamber rose shortly after.

  • The US eviction moratorium is ending, putting millions at risk of losing their homes

Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the CDC's order to remain in effect until July 31, but said congressional action would be needed to extend it beyond that date. President Joe Biden asked Congress on Thursday to extend the moratorium until December 31, but both houses have yet to advance the legislative process to extend the directive and the moratorium appears to be on track to expire unless there is some kind of action. last minute.

On Friday night, the departments of Agriculture (USDA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Agency Finance Department (FHFA) announced that, at Biden's request, they will extend "their foreclosure-related eviction moratorium until September 30, 2021."

On the same day, Biden asked state and local governments to "immediately disburse" rental assistance funds resulting from Covid-19 relief laws, before the moratorium expires.

"State and local governments should also be aware that there is no legal barrier to the moratorium at the state and local level," it said in a statement.

Legal debate on the moratorium on evictions 2:02

The Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives sold the idea Friday afternoon to see if the conference would support extending the eviction moratorium until October 18 instead of until the end of the year.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference early Friday that the CDC should be the one to extend the moratorium and money that had previously been allocated to this issue should be used because she says so much of it has not been spent.

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"We would like the CDC to extend the moratorium, that's where it can be done," Pelosi told reporters.

But the White House legal team doesn't see that extension as an option.

The message sent in the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh explicitly stated that the moratorium would only be maintained because it would expire on July 31, this led the White House legal team to settle for the idea that there was no way to win if they looked for another extension.

"There was no chance of winning or even having a temporary positive impact and some chance that it could lead to a damaging ruling," the White House official said.

A sign calling for fighting evictions is put on the ground as Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) spends the night outside the U.S. Capitol to call for an extension of the federal eviction moratorium on July 31, 2021 in Washington.

The moratorium on evictions, which ends this Saturday, has helped 2 million people remain in their homes in the face of economic difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

(Photo by Joshua Roberts / Getty Images)

Another White House official noted that Kavanaugh's opinion was public for all lawmakers to see, and that the White House clearly stated its intention in June that the one-month extension to July 31 would be the last.

It's unclear why, if the deadline had been known for weeks, Democratic leaders were pushing for the extension to be approved just over a day before the deadline.

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"We found out about this yesterday," Pelosi told reporters Friday night after the failed vote.

"There was not enough time to agree on something within our

caucus

, as well as to build a necessary consensus."

"We will not forget this issue; we hope to be back here in the relatively near future," Hoyer added.

Before the vote, progressive representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri stood in front of Pelosi's office and demanded that Congress remain in session until lawmakers reached an agreement that would extend it.

Ocasio-Cortez rejected the notion that it was a last-minute request from the Biden administration.

"Everyone knew this was going to happen. We raised the alarm on this issue," he said.

In her press conference the previous Friday, Pelosi said she did not want to criticize the executive branch for waiting until Thursday to urge Congress to act.

"I don't want to criticize what they have because they made the statement yesterday," Pelosi said.

"But we are not going to turn away from this problem, either now or soon after."

Even if the extension had been approved by the House, it is unlikely that the Senate would be able to quickly pass the bill anytime soon.

The upper house has spoken for the foreseeable future as it tries to advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and any swift passage would require the unanimous consent of all current senators.

The Senate is also scheduled to begin its recess late next week, though that too could change if the leadership changes the schedule.

If I get vaccinated, is protection lost?

0:52

Implemented by the CDC last fall to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the order prohibited the eviction of tenants for non-payment of rent.

The end of the moratorium could affect an estimated 11.4 million adults who are behind on their rent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

Republicans have rejected that Democrats are trying to do this at the last minute as well.

"The CDC's order expired at the end of this month. They knew it in February. The Democrats had the opportunity to change that. They didn't," Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina said Friday. "We have heard the priority. We have heard the emergency. But this is not an emergency. On this day it is a tragedy that it is this level of incompetence that we did not take action in February, March, April, May, June. Even July."

While the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives kept members in session until Friday night, when many were planning to begin the August recess, a high-ranking aide close to the moderate wing of the Democratic Party told CNN that the moderates they had threatened to leave and not carry out the proxy vote because it is clear that the party did not have the votes.

  • Covid relief programs are beginning to expire for millions of Americans

"They don't have the votes and the leadership is playing hard and trying to force the members to stay," the staff member told CNN.

"The moderates now threaten to get on airplanes and not vote for proxy."

But other Democrats had insisted that no matter how strict, this extension cannot be ignored.

"We have to pause this for the sake of public health," Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross of North Carolina said Friday. "For the sake of the economic well-being of the people and to give them time to make this transition. I too wish we had planned this ahead of time, but I can say that people are making progress. We need to help people right now."

The White House has pushed to raise awareness and disbursement of the tens of billions of dollars available in rental assistance and beneficiaries of the Covid-19 relief laws. The rate at which that aid is going out the door has been a concern for both lawmakers and administration officials as they have tried to pressure local officials to disburse money more quickly and widely.

"State and local governments can and should use both emergency rental assistance and state and local funds from the American Rescue Plan to support policies with the courts, community groups, and legal assistance to ensure no one seeks an eviction. if you have not applied for a rental assistance from the Emergency Assistance Funds, "Biden said in his statement Friday.

CNN's Manu Raju, Daniella Diaz, Anna Bahney and DJ Judd contributed to this report.

rental housing evictions Joe Biden

Source: cnnespanol

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