December 8, 2021

Eviction moratorium: AOC, Cori Bush, other progressive members of Congress call on Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer to act

WASHINGTON — Home progressives on Friday urgently known as on Democratic congressional leaders to move laws to lengthen the federal eviction moratorium after the Supreme Courtroom ended an extension late Thursday evening.

“As your fellow colleagues, we implore you to act with the highest levels of urgency to advance a permanent legislative solution in a must pass legislative vehicle in order to extend the life-saving federal eviction moratorium for the duration of the deadly global health crisis. We must continue to curb the spread of the Delta variant using every legislative tool at our disposal in Congress,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter despatched Friday to Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, completely obtained by ABC Information.

The letter was led by Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jimmy Gomez, and Cori Bush. Greater than 60 lawmakers have signed on to the letter, ABC Information is advised.

In an eight-page ruling, the Supreme Courtroom decided that Congress should lengthen the federal eviction moratorium unilaterally.

MORE: With eviction moratorium expiring Saturday, Biden calls on Congress to act
“Congress was on notice that a further extension would almost surely require new legislation, yet it failed to act in the several weeks leading up to the moratorium’s expiration,” the court docket wrote in an unsigned, eight-page opinion.

“If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it,” the court docket mentioned.

“It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. But our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends,” the court docket writes. “It is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest merits further action here.”

The transfer will seemingly imply a whole bunch of hundreds of tenants are lose their properties as a result of they’re unable to pay lease, and it comes because the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to run rampant throughout the nation.

Bush, who was previously homeless, posted up on the Capitol steps to protest the moratorium ending earlier in August.

The moratorium, basically a nationwide ban on evictions, was put in place by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention final September. In June, the Supreme Courtroom voted 5-4 to permit the eviction ban to proceed by means of the tip of July however signaled in its ruling that it might block any additional extensions until there was “clear and specific congressional authorization.”

Amid public outcry, Home Democratic management was trying to probably take legislative motion earlier than its summer time recess, however these efforts didn’t happen.

The CDC ended up passing one other extension in early August, largely due to the general public outcry and protests led by Bush.

In an announcement Friday, Pelosi didn’t point out that the Home would return from its recess to move laws. She known as on state and native governments to disperse rental help instantly. Solely about $5.1 billion of the $46.5 billion in assist had been disbursed by the tip of July, in accordance to figures launched earlier within the week.

“Earlier this month, thanks to the leadership of President Biden and Congressional Democrats, the imminent fear of eviction and being put out on the street was lifted for countless families across America with the issuing of a new CDC eviction moratorium. Last night, the Supreme Court immorally ripped away that relief in a ruling that is arbitrary and cruel,” she mentioned in an announcement.

“Congressional Democrats have not and will not ever accept a situation of mass evictions. We will continue our work to ensure that families suffering hardship during the pandemic can have the safety of home, as we also work with communities to ensure the immediate disbursement by states and localities of the over $45 billion allocated by Congress for rental assistance,” she added.

Following the discharge of the progressives’ letter, Pelosi additionally despatched her personal letter to the Democratic caucus, once more reiterating that the chamber will assess “possible legislative remedies.”

“Preventing mass evictions is a priority that unites Democrats, and I remain proud of the work that our House Democratic Caucus has done to provide relief for families and landlords, including working with the Biden Administration to secure the new moratorium and allocating the $46.5 billion in emergency rental assistance initiated by Chairwoman Maxine Waters. We will continue to work with the Biden Administration and with our communities to urge a halt to evictions and to ensure the immediate disbursement by states and localities of the rental assistance,” she mentioned in her letter.

“At the same time, the House is assessing possible legislative remedies. House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters is examining the most effective way to expedite the flow of funding of rental assistance by states and localities. Families must be protected during the pandemic, and we will explore every possible solution,” she mentioned.

“As we all agree, eviction is a horror that no family should ever have to experience: cribs and personal belongings on the street, children in fear and distress and parents struggling to find basic shelter. As we work to prevent this crisis, I again salute our House Democratic Caucus for the relentless and values-based leadership that Members continue to bring to this fight,” she mentioned, in a nod to progressives.

White Home press secretary Jen Psaki additionally launched an announcement late Thursday lamenting the Supreme Courtroom’s choice.

“The Biden Administration is disappointed that the Supreme Court has blocked the most recent CDC eviction moratorium while confirmed cases of the Delta variant are significant across the country. As a result of this ruling, families will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Psaki mentioned.

“In light of the Supreme Court ruling and the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission, President Biden is once again calling on all entities that can prevent evictions – from cities and states to local courts, landlords, Cabinet Agencies – to urgently act to prevent evictions,” she mentioned.

Psaki mentioned Friday that President Biden supported extension efforts in Congress but additionally known as for motion on the state stage.

ABC Information has reached out to Pelosi’s and Schumer’s workplaces for remark.

ABC Information’ Molly Nagle and MaryAlice Parks contributed to this report.