After Claiming Hands Tied, Biden Admin To Issue ‘Targeted’ Eviction Ban
After the Democrat-controlled Congress adjourned for 6 weeks without taking action on the now-expired eviction moratorium, mass finger pointing ensued on the left.
Responding to calls for the CDC to extend the moratorium, the Biden administration originally pointed to a June Supreme Court decision which made clear that only Congress has the authority to extend the program.
On Tuesday, however, the Washington Post reports that the Biden administration “is expected to announce a new action to limit housing evictions, moving swiftly after intense pressure from liberal House Democrats.”
The congressional pressure campaign intensified in recent days after a national eviction moratorium created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expired at the end of July. The Biden administration has repeatedly insisted that it lacked the legal authority to renew that program. However, the delta variant has renewed concerns about the impact of the expiring moratorium on millions of renters and White House officials have explored other options. –Washington Post
According to the New York Times, the extension could consist of a freeze which would remain in place until October 3, however final decisions are yet to be made.
On Tuesday, tensions between the White House and lawmakers intensified – with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ruling out bringing lawmakers back from vacation to address the issue via new legislation.
After speaking with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on a private call, Pelosi said that the consensus amongst the Democratic caucus was that the House should stay on vacation – and that it was up to the Biden administration to extend the moratorium. As the Post notes, “even if an extension were to pass the House, the measure is almost certain to fail in the Senate, given that Democrats would need 10 Senate Republicans to support the effort to overcome the filibuster.”
“We will not relent until families and landlords have been protected from this crisis,” Pelosi said in a Monday letter, despite doing absolutely nothing to meaningfully address the matter when Congress was in session.
During the call, Yellen answered questions from lawmakers over delays in disbursing over $46 billion in emergency rental assistance – which the Treasury Department has struggled to execute.
According to Moody’s, over six million Americans are behind on rent.
On Monday, White House official Gene Sperling told the press that the administration was encouraging state and local officials to enact their own eviction moratoriums – while also working on federal agencies such as the USDA to extend eviction moratoriums if possible.
“States and cities need at least another couple months to get this money out, and there’s no sticks or carrots Treasury can wield to make that happen faster. What we need is time,” said housing expert Paul Williams, a fellow at the nonprofit Jain Family Institute and the author of an analysis on the current crisis. Williams says officials from several city governments he’s spoken to are doing everything they can to tap into federal funding, however they’ve faced nothing but roadblocks from the Biden Treasury.
“There’s no stick you can beat them with to make them go faster. They’re limited by technical and staff capacity to actually get this done,” said Williams.
Tue, 08/03/2021 – 16:20