On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should extend the moratorium on evictions that is set to end on Saturday, even after the Supreme Court said that Congress needed to pass legislation on the issue.
House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) created an emergency bill that would extend the moratorium until the end of the year, but reports revealed that several moderate Democrats were opposed to it.
“Is it emergency enough that you’re going to stop families from being put on the street?” Waters said as the Rules Committee met to consider the legislation.
Pelosi is now reportedly pressing for an extension that would go until October 18th, but it is unclear if it will be passed before the House of Representatives leaves for its August recess.
“I think this is something that we’ll work out. It isn’t about any more money — the money is there, resting in localities and governors’ offices across the country,” Pelosi said Friday morning during a news briefing in the Capitol. “So we would like the CDC to expand the moratorium. That’s where it can be done.”
The Supreme Court, however, recently ruled differently on the subject.
Last month, a Supreme Court order permitted the moratorium to continue until the end of July. In his opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium.”
“Because the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application to vacate the District Court’s stay of its order,” he added.
He noted that “clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.”
Landlords and advocacy organizations are opposed to most expansions on the moratorium, however, after having been financially harmed during the pandemic.
On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) pushed back against a potential extension.
“NAR is prepared to oppose vigorously any unreasonable effort by Congress to extend the ban without assistance for small housing providers,” said Shannon McGahn, chief advocacy officer for NAR. “We have argued all along that the best solution for all parties is rental assistance for tenants in need paid directly to housing providers. Nearly half of all rental housing in America is a mom-and-pop operation, and these providers cannot continue to live in a state of financial hardship.”
A group of 14 industry groups sent a letter to legislators Thursday night asking them to “end the unsustainable nationwide federal restrictions on property operations” and instead speed up the rental assistance dispersal, per Politico.
“The moratorium unfairly shifts economic hardships to the backs of housing providers who have jeopardized their own financial futures to provide essential housing to renters across the country,” wrote the groups, headed up by the National Association of Realtors.
As The Daily Wire reported on Thursday, the White House called on Congress to extend the moratorium.
“Given the recent spread of the delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, 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 in a statement, per The Hill.
“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available,” she added.
“In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the president calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay,” Psaki said, adding that the evictions ban is “a critical backstop to prevent hard-pressed renters and their families who lost jobs or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic from being evicted for nonpayment of rent.”