“A lot of my fellow Democrats chose to go on vacation early today rather than stay and vote to keep people in their homes,” Bush said. tweeted. “I’m going to sleep in front of the Capitol tonight. We still have work to do.
Bush, 45, who lived through a period of homelessness nearly two decades ago, sent a letter to his colleagues earlier Friday urging them to stay in Washington DC a little longer before starting their August vacation. to adopt an extension of the moratorium.
“I urge you to listen to me on this issue, because as a former homeless congressman, I myself have been evicted three times,” she wrote. “I know what it’s like to have to live in my car with my two children. Now that I am a member of Congress, I refuse to sit idly by when millions of people are likely to experience the same trauma as me. “
In one separate letter later On Friday, Bush invited his colleagues to join her “in solidarity” in front of the Capitol.
« [W]We need to come together again to protect people from violent evictions during a deadly pandemic… ”she said. “We have to get there, and we must not give up. “
The moratorium on evictions, intended to prevent Americans from being forced out of their homes during the pandemic, was initially put in place by the CARES law enacted in March 2020, at the height of the epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed a similar ban in September after the initial moratorium expired. Congress initially extended the CDC’s order for 30 days before the agency unilaterally extended it two more times.
Last month, the Biden administration extended the moratorium until the end of July. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to dismiss a challenge to the latest extension by a group of homeowners. However, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who voted to dismiss the owners’ petition, wrote in a concurring opinion that extending the moratorium beyond July 31 would require “clear and specific authorization from Congress.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday that the administration’s hands were tied by the Supreme Court ruling and called on Congress to “extend the moratorium on evictions to protect these vulnerable tenants and their families without delay ”.
As time is running out on Friday, President Biden called on state and local governments to speed up the distribution of the remainder of nearly $ 47 billion in emergency rent assistance funds. Lawmakers said only about $ 3 billion had been spent.
« [T]here, there can be no excuse for a state or locality not to speed up funds for homeowners and tenants who have been injured during this pandemic. Every state and local government must withdraw these funds to ensure that we prevent all possible evictions, ”said Biden, who added that“ State and local governments must also be aware that there are no legal obstacles. moratorium at state and local level. “
On Capitol Hill, House Democrats failed to find enough support to extend the moratorium. An attempt to approve an extension by unanimous consent, without a formal vote, was contested by House Republicans.
On the Senate side, aides to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said the two were working on legislation to extend the moratorium and urging Republicans not to block it.
At the end of March, 6.4 million American households were behind on their rent, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As of July 5, about 3.6 million people in the United States said they were at risk of deportation over the next two months, according to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
With post wires