The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of the day on Saturday, July 31, and Democrat leaders have been scrambling to get an extension, according to reports from Capitol Hill.

The moratorium has been under threat of expiring a number of times since first being enacted during the spring of 2020. Most recently, the moratorium was scheduled to expire at the end of June, but the CDC approved a one-month extension of the ban, stating that this time was “intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.”

On Thursday, President Biden called on Congress to extend the moratorium through the end of 2021, citing concerns over the quick spread of the Delta variant, according to The Hill. However, despite efforts by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leaders to rally party support for a vote to extend the ban, by Friday, Pelosi called on the CDC to unilaterally extend the moratorium, potentially indicating a lack of votes.

“We would like the CDC to expand the moratorium, that’s where it can be done,” Pelosi told the press.

However, some members of Congress also seemed a bit confused as to why, since the July deadline was known a month in advance, action to extend the deadline had not been taken earlier.

“I quite frankly wish [President Biden] had asked us sooner,” Re. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), chairman of the Rules panel, said during a Friday morning hearing.

The House is also on the verge of taking a seven-week August recess, which could complicate matters, although a congressional leader can delay or cancel a recess, bringing the chamber back into session.

It’s also unclear whether or not the CDC has the authority to issue another extension on its own. In late June, the Supreme Court stated that the CDC would not be able to extend the moratorium without congressional action, but Pelosi argued that the CDC does indeed have such authority, according to The Hill.

“I think the CDC can,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi also called on governors to spend more of the funds Congress has allocated for rental assistance, noting that about $46 billion of $50 billion total that was allocated has still not been spent.

“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?” Pelosi said.

Email Lillian Dickerson

coronavirus | rentals
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