House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to unilaterally extend the federal eviction moratorium – which is scheduled to expire tomorrow, Saturday, July 31st – through the end of 2021.
“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 during a press briefing at the United States Capitol on Friday morning. “So we’d like the CDC to expand the moratorium. That’s where it can be done.”
Pelosi called the need for an extension “an imperative,” pledging that “we are not going away from this issue, whether it’s now or shortly thereafter. We’re going to have to find a solution.” She added that she believes that the CDC has the power to extend the ban.
Millions of renters are facing the prospect of getting kicked out of their homes despite tens of billions of federal dollars having been allocated to cover rental arrears from March of 2020 through June of 2021. But those rent relief programs have been plagued with delays and inefficient rollouts, leaving tenants and landlords in a state of frustrating – and potentially devastating – financial purgatory.
“The fact is, almost $50 billion was allocated — $46 billion. Less than 10 percent of that has been spent, around $3 billion,” Pelosi said. “Why should the renters be punished for the fact that the system did not put money in their pockets to pay the rent to the landlords?”
President Joe Biden on Thursday called upon Congress to crank out legislation to extend the moratorium, however, some Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives have conflicting views on how far into the future the moratorium should remain in place, arguing that it should only be stretched until October 18th. Others have vented frustration at Biden for waiting until the last minute to ask for a bill.
“I quite frankly wish he had asked us sooner,” House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) said during a hearing on Friday morning.
But the Speaker remains optimistic.
“It is our hope that we could pass a bill extending the eviction moratorium to that date immediately,” Pelosi stated in a letter sent to Democrats on Friday afternoon.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.