Progressive activists and politicians have been up in arms after a moratorium on evictions expired over the weekend.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the executive branch lacks the authority to impose such an order, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is apparently not deterred.
“Action is needed”
According to the Daily Caller, Pelosi joined a number of her fellow Democrats in calling on the Biden administration to reinstate the eviction moratorium.
Along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-CT), and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), Pelosi issued a statement on the matter.
“Action is needed, and it must come from the Administration,” the Democrats asserted. “That is why House leadership is calling on the Administration to immediately intend the moratorium.”
Asserting that “it is clear that the Senate is not able to” extend the order set to expire at the end of July, House Democrats cited an increase in the COVID-19 infection rate as a reason to restart the moratorium.
“As the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] doubles down on mask-wearing and vaccination efforts, science and reason demand that they must also extend the moratorium in light of the delta variant,” the statement added.
“Exceeded its existing statutory authority”
Noting that the “virus is still a threat,” the House leaders concluded that the “moratorium must be extended, and the funds Congress allocated to assist renters and landlords must be spent.”
Of course, the statement did not reference a Supreme Court ruling in June that determined the CDC “exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium.”
For his part, President Joe Biden cited that decision in his remarks to reporters on Tuesday, asserting: “Any call for [a] moratorium based on the Supreme Court’s recent decision is likely to face obstacles. I’ve indicated to the CDC, I’d like them to look at other alternatives [other] than the one that is in existence, which the court has declared they’re not going to allow to continue.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the opinion, joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas.
Although Congress allocated money to the Emergency Rental Assistance program meant to help low-income Americans pay their rent, the Treasury Department noted that most of those funds have been distributed.