Democrats call on Joe Biden to extend eviction ban

3.6 million Americans face the risk.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leaders called on the Biden administration to immediately extend the nation’s eviction moratorium, calling it a “moral imperative” to prevent Americans from being put out of their homes during a COVID-19 surge.

An estimated 3.6 million Americans are at risk of eviction, some as soon as Monday.

Congress was unable to pass legislation swiftly to extend the ban, which expired at midnight Saturday, and the Democratic leaders said in a statement that it was now up to President Joe Biden’s administration to act. They called on the administration to extend the moratorium through October 18.

‘Moral imperative’

“Action is needed, and it must come from the Administration,” Pelosi said Sunday night in the statement signed by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Whip James E. Clyburn and Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark. “Science and reason demand that they must also extend the moratorium in light of the Delta variant. Doing so is a moral imperative.”

The White House, which has urged localities and states to tap aid already approved by Congress, had no direct response to the Democrats’ call for action.

Some Democratic lawmakers said they were caught by surprise last Thursday when Mr. Biden announced that he would not extend the moratorium again in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that suggested congressional action was necessary for another extension. Lawmakers were left with only days to act before the ban expired, creating frustration and exposing a rare rift with the administration.

On Sunday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said that Democrats had to “call a spade a spade” and pointed to her own party. “We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have a majority,” she told CNN.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats joined Rep. Cori Bush, who camped outside the Capitol over the weekend in protest.

Another source of frustration for lawmakers is the slow pace of pandemic relief approved by Congress — nearly $47 billion in federal housing aid to the States — getting to renters and landlords owed payments. Mr

Mr. Biden has called on local governments to “take all possible steps” to disburse the funds immediately. “There can be no excuse for any state or locality not accelerating funds to landlords and tenants that have been hurt during this pandemic,” Mr. Biden said in a statement Friday.

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