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CDC Points New Eviction Moratorium Till October 3 – CBS San Francisco

WASHINGTON (AP / CBS SF) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enacted a new eviction moratorium that would last until October 3 as the Biden government tried to quell mounting criticism from progressives that at-risk tenants were while of a pandemic.

The ban announced on Tuesday could help keep millions in their homes as the delta variant of the coronavirus has spread and states are slow to release federal rental subsidies. It would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “significant and high levels” of virus transmission and cover areas home to 90% of the US population.

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The announcement was a reversal for the Biden administration, which let an earlier moratorium expire over the weekend after a Supreme Court ruling prevented an extension. This tore open a dramatic split between the White House and progressive Democrats, who insisted that the government do more to prevent some 3.6 million Americans from losing their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.

In a speech at the White House on Tuesday, Biden said he was urging the CDC to reconsider its options. However, he still seemed hesitant about whether the new moratorium could withstand complaints about its constitutionality, and said he had sought expert opinions on whether the Supreme Court would approve the measure.

“Most of the constitutional research says it likely won’t pass constitutional pattern,” Biden said. “But there are some important scientists who think that it is possible and that it is worth the effort.”

The president added that the moratorium – even if challenged in court – will “likely give states and cities a little more time” to free up billions of dollars in federal aid to tenants.

Politically, the extension could help close a rift between liberal democratic lawmakers, who urged the president to take executive action to keep tenants in their homes. The government had spent the past few days reassuring Democrats and the country that they could find a way to limit the damage from possible evictions through the use of federal aid.

However, the pressure increased as key lawmakers said this was not enough.

Leading Democratic leaders joined MP Cori Bush, D-Mo., Who has been camping outside the US Capitol for several days. The new congresswoman once lived in her car as a young mother and referred to the experience to urge the White House to prevent widespread evictions.

When she wiped her eyes in front of a crowd in the Capitol following the CDC announcement, Bush said she shed “happy tears.”

“My God, I don’t think we did that,” she said. “We just did the job just by loving people to keep millions in their homes.”

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said it was a day of “extraordinary relief.”

“The looming fear of eviction and exposure to the streets has been removed for countless families across America. Help is here! ”Pelosi said in a statement.

Government officials had previously stated that a Supreme Court ruling had prevented them from imposing a new moratorium without the support of Congress. When the court upheld the eviction ban by 5 to 4 votes until the end of July, a majority judge, Brett Kavanaugh, wrote that Congress must act to extend it further.

But on Tuesday, the CDC cited the slow pace of state and local governments in paying housing subsidies as a justification for the new moratorium.

Aside from the moratorium, Biden has insisted that federal funds – about $ 47 billion previously approved during the pandemic – must leave the door to help tenants and landlords.

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“The money is there,” said Biden.

The White House has said that state and local governments have been slow to pull out federal money and are pushing them to do it quickly.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen briefed Democrats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday of work in progress to ensure federal housing aid reaches tenants and landlords. She provided data so lawmakers could see how their districts and states were doing in distributing aid, according to one person who answered the call.

The Treasury Secretary tried to encourage Democrats to work together, despite lawmakers saying Biden should act alone to extend the eviction moratorium, according to someone in the private call who insisted on anonymity to discuss the contents.

According to this person, on the call, Yellen said that she agreed that “we must use all resources” and that she appreciates the efforts of the Democrats and “does not want to leave a stone unturned”.

The CDC imposed the initial eviction ban as part of the COVID-19 response as jobs shifted and many workers lost their incomes. The ban was intended to curb the spread of the virus among people who took to the streets and were taken to emergency shelters, but also penalized landlords who lost income as a result.

National Apartment Association President and CEO Bob Pinnegar said the organization has “always taken the same position – the eviction moratorium is an unfunded government mandate that forces housing providers to provide costly service without compensation and places insurmountable debt on tenants” .

Democratic lawmakers said they were surprised by Biden’s initial decision to end the moratorium, despite the fact that the CDC hinted in late June that it was unlikely to extend the eviction ban beyond the end of July.

MP Maxine Waters, the powerful chair of the financial services committee, has been speaking privately to Yellen for days, urging the finance minister to use her leverage to get states to push the money out the door. However, Waters also urged the CDC to act independently.

Following the CDC’s announcement on Tuesday, Waters released a statement thanking Biden for “listening and encouraging the CDC to act! This extension of the moratorium is the lifeline that millions of families have been waiting for. “

On Monday, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, joined the Choir of Voices, which has been growing since the eviction moratorium expired, the White House and Centers for Disease Control on Sunday in extending it.

“The pandemic is not over yet,” Lee said in a press release released from her office on Sunday evening. “With the dangerous delta variant becoming widespread, there is still a risk that low-income communities – especially black and brown communities – lose their homes and end up on the streets. Consistent with the executive powers granted during a public health crisis, the White House and CDC should immediately extend the eviction moratorium.

Lee, co-chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, said her district and California were at the epicenter of the country’s housing crisis. By the time the moratorium expires, an estimated 11 million Americans could be thrown onto the streets as COVID-19 rises again across the country.

“This is more important now than ever as evictions not only leave families without a roof over their heads, but also have the potential to worsen the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “Individual states shouldn’t have to look after themselves. The Biden administration and the CDC can fix this with the stroke of a pen by extending the moratorium.

This latest moratorium will remain in effect until October 3, which may give some tenants more time to apply for emergency funds and assistance.

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© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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