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Thursday, September 16, 2021

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The three Democratic representatives sleep outside the Capitol during their protest against the end of the eviction moratorium

Democrats failed to get enough votes Friday (July 30) to keep the national eviction moratorium in place.

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Democrats failed to get enough votes Friday (July 30) to keep the national eviction moratorium in place. With the spread of the Delta variant of the Coronavirus pandemic, millions of families may no longer be able to afford to live in their own homes. 

A letter sent by Nancy Pelosi to her colleagues on Thursday (July 29) asked them to follow the Gospel of Matthew and meet their “duty of care toward the poor.” 

“Millions of Covid-affected renter households are at risk of being evicted during the last 24 hours,” Pelosi wrote. 

Representative Cori Bush slept on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Ayanna Pressley as part of a protest against the end of the eviction moratorium. 

In a letter to other lawmakers, Bush asked legislators not to leave for the seven-week August recess until the moratorium was extended. “We must do everything in our power to protect the nearly 6.2 million households at risk of being evicted,” she wrote. Having been evicted three times myself, I urge you as a former unhoused Congresswoman. The experience of living in my car with my two kids is something I am familiar with. After being elected to Congress, I will not stand by as millions of people suffer the same trauma I did.” 

Bush tweeted a picture of herself with Pressley and Omar: “It’s 1 a.m.”. Our numbers are growing and our solidarity is strong. Democrats have the power to prevent the removal of millions of people from their homes. The eviction moratorium must be extended now,” she wrote on Twitter. 

Representative Maxine Waters, who drafted the Protecting Renters from Evictions Act of 2021, did not gain sufficient support before Congress left Friday evening. Several Republicans are opposed to extending the moratorium, urging Democrats not to wait until the day the moratorium ends before taking actions. 

According to President Biden, states are responsible for distributing the federal aid aimed at renters and landlords. “State and local governments have been receiving Emergency Rental Assistance funding since February, and they are eligible for an additional $21.5 billion passed in the American Rescue Plan,” Biden wrote in his statement. “Five months after this pandemic, localities across the nation have proven they can distribute funds effectively, so there is no excuse not to accelerate funds for landlords and tenants who have been hurt by this pandemic. These funds must be distributed to states and local governments so we can prevent every eviction.” 

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