Three members of the progressive "Squad" have been staying outside the Capitol in protest of the end of the freeze on evictions implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reps. Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley have remained outside the Capitol to protest the end of the eviction moratorium, which expired at midnight on Aug. 1.
"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," Bush tweeted early Sunday morning. "The House needs to reconvene and put an end to this crisis."
The trio of lawmakers had hoped to reconvene the House and the Senate to extend the moratorium, calling on President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to move unilaterally if the legislative branch did not act via a Saturday letter.
"We write to implore you once again to do everything in your power to prevent the historic and deadly wave of evictions that will occur should the government fail to extend the eviction moratorium scheduled to expire today," wrote the three lawmakers, joined by remaining "Squad" members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, and Rashida Tlaib, among others.
On Thursday, three days before the moratorium was set to expire, the White House did call on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium, but no action ever occurred.
"President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday, referencing a 5-4 Supreme Court order on the moratorium allowing it to stay in place. "Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available. In June, when CDC extended the eviction moratorium until July 31, the Supreme Court’s ruling stated that 'clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.'"
After the eviction freeze expired Saturday night, Ocasio-Cortez faulted "conservative Democrats" for failing to act.
"The House and House leadership had the opportunity to vote to extend the moratorium. ... We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have the majority," she said on CNN’s State of the Union. "This court order came down on the White House a month ago, and the White House waited until the day before the House adjourned to release a statement asking Congress to extend the moratorium.”
The House adjourned for a six-week recess on Friday without gathering the votes to extend the moratorium to Oct. 18. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer attempted to pass the Protecting Renters from Evictions Act of 2021 by unanimous consent, but Republicans ultimately objected.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not signaled plans to reconvene over the eviction moratorium.
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Original Author: Carly Roman