The White House hit back against a claim, made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), that the CDC could restart its block on evictions, put into effect at the start of the pandemic.
After taking a lot of criticism from House liberals, who even protested by camping out on the footsteps of the U.S. Capitol after the U.S. House left for its recess, Pelosi, who couldn’t get enough votes to extend the moratorium last week, called for the CDC to extend their ban.
“The CDC can extend the moratorium. As they double down on mask requirements, why would they not extend the moratorium given the delta variant?” Pelosi tweeted Sunday.
The CDC has the power to extend the eviction moratorium. As they double down on masks, why wouldn't they extend the moratorium in light of delta variant?
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 1, 2021
“It is a moral imperative to keep Americans from being forced out onto the street which also gives weight to the public health emergency. The virus is a big threat, the moratorium should be extended and the money Congress gives to help landlords and renters must be used,” she said.
But Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki, responded to Pelosi’s claims in a comment on Monday, informing the Speaker that the CDC does not have a lawful and correct way of extending the eviction moratorium, and while the Biden White House can help, it cannot unilaterally order that evictions end.
CDC officials, Psaki said, “were unable to find legal ability for a new eviction moratorium,” and there will not be an “emergency extension,” according to The Hill.
“Our team is redoubling our efforts to find all available legal paths to give necessary protections,” Psaki said. “In the meantime, the President will keep doing everything in his power to aid renters in danger of eviction.”
It is not clear that President Biden has the ability to extend the CDC’s mandate. The Supreme Court was clear that the topic is a legislative one, and the mistake and failure is on Pelosi, not Biden.
“Biden asked Democrats and Republicans last week to prolong the CDC’s ban, two days before it was set to expire on July 31 and almost a month after the U.S. Supreme Court warned that the CDC would require congressional backing to extend its moratorium,” The Hill said. “Even so, Democrats in the House were unable to meet Biden’s request after around 20 moderate Dems objected to the bill to extend the ban, breaking for recess without even having a vote.”
Author: Blake Ambrose