Washington: The Biden administration on Tuesday announced a new ban on evictions for many renters just days after the White House allowed a nationwide moratorium to expire, infuriating progressive House Democrats who warned that millions of Americans could lose their homes, reports Fox News.
CDC Officials drafted a new eviction moratorium aimed at protecting tenants in counties with “substantial and high levels of community transmission” of COVID-19, affecting roughly 90% of the U.S. population.
“The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads.”
Consideration of another pause came after immense pressure from progressive lawmakers for President Biden to act quickly and extend the moratorium after the White House punted the issue to Congress last week, arguing their hands were tied by a recent Supreme Court ruling that implied most justices believed the CDC had exceeded its authority with the ban.
A similar eleventh-hour effort in the House to keep the ban alive until the end of the year failed after Democrats were unable to secure the necessary support from at least a dozen members of their own caucus. Even if the House had passed a measure extending the ban, it almost certainly would have died in the 50-50 Senate.
House Democrats and the White House both shifted their attention over the weekend to expediting the distribution of $46 billion in rental assistance that Congress approved in December and March. Treasury data show that just $3 billion, or roughly 6.6% of the money, was doled out during the first half of the year.
“There can be no excuse for any state or locality not accelerating funds to landlords and tenants that have been hurt during this pandemic,” Biden said in a statement on Friday evening.
Progressive lawmakers celebrated the news on Tuesday.
“Grateful,” tweeted. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., sharing an image of several House Democrats who camped outside the Capitol in protest of the eviction ban’s end.
Without the eviction halt, which the CDC first implemented last September, more than 15 million people living in the U.S. who were behind on their rental payments could have faced eviction, according to a study published by the Aspen Institute.