Administration Calls on Congress to Extend CDC Eviction Ban

July 29, 2021 by Dan McCue
Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, July 9, 2021. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The White House called on Congress Thursday to pass an emergency extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction ban, three days before it is set to expire.

Without immediate action, the Biden administration said it will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday.

“For nearly 11 months, the CDC’s eviction moratorium has served as a critical backstop to prevent hard-pressed renters and their families who lost jobs or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic from being evicted for nonpayment of rent,” White House Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement emailed to reporters Thursday morning.

“Given the recent spread of the delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability,” she continued.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available,” she said. 

Psaki was referring to a Supreme Court ruling in June that left the ban in place, but made clear that a majority on the court believed Congress would have to pass new and clearer legislation to extend the moratorium past July 31.

Previously, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich had struck down the moratorium as exceeding the CDC’s authority, but she put her ruling on hold to allow time for the justices to weigh in. 

In a brief opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said he agreed with Friedrich’s ruling, but voted to leave the ban on evictions in place because it’s due to end in a month and “because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds.”

“In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the President calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay,” Psaki said. 

“In addition, he has asked the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, and Veterans Affairs to extend their respective eviction moratoria through the end of September, which will provide continued protection for households living in federally-insured, single-family properties,” she said.

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