The White House admitted that President Joe Biden and his administration could no longer find legal grounds to extend an eviction moratorium.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Monday afternoon that Biden asked the Centers for Disease Controls for another 30-day moratorium on evictions but that Director Rochelle Walensky failed to find legal grounds to do so.
“Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections,” the statement read.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the White House should act to extend eviction moratoriums, even though the courts have signaled that Congress has to act.
The Supreme Court ruled in June against lifting the moratorium that expired in July 2021 and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a moratorium should come from elected officials, not the CDC.
The White House signaled they would continue to try to help find legal authority on the issue, but indicated the president had no ability to act.
“On this particular issue, the president has not only kicked the tires, he has double, triple, quadruple checked,” White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling told reporters on Monday.
The administration urged State and local governments to act on their own to stop renters from getting evicted from their homes.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) camped outside Congress on Friday to protest the failure of Democrats and the Biden administration to extend the eviction moratorium.
5 AM. This morning felt cold, like the wind was blowing straight through my sleeping bag.
Since Friday—when some colleagues chose early vacation over voting to prevent evictions—we’ve been at the Capitol.
It’s an eviction emergency. Our people need an eviction moratorium. Now.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) August 2, 2021
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez specifically called out the Biden administration for failing to extend the moratorium, delaying action until right before it expired.
“This Court order came down on the White House a month ago, and the White House waited until the day before the House adjourned to release a statement asking Congress to extend the moratorium,” she said on CNN on Sunday.