Democratic leaders scrambled and tried all day on Friday to get enough votes beyond the July 31 deadline to no avail. Just after 6 p.m. ET on Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer unanimously attempted to pass a bill to extend the eviction moratorium, but it was rejected by Republicans. Soon after, the proceedings of the House were adjourned.
On Friday evening, the US Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and Treasury and the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that – at Biden’s request – they were “extending their foreclosure-related eviction moratorium until September 30, 2021”. Huh. “
Biden called on state and local governments on Friday evening to “immediately disburse” the rental aid amount from Covid relief laws before the end of the moratorium. “State and local governments should also be aware that there is no legal impediment to postponement at the state and local levels,” he said in a statement.
House Democratic leadership shopped around Friday afternoon on whether the convention would support extending the eviction moratorium only to October 18, rather than through the end of the year.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a news conference earlier on Friday that it should be the CDC to extend the moratorium and use the money that was previously allocated to the issue because she says most of it is not spent. Has been done.
“We would like the CDC to extend the moratorium, that’s where it can be done,” Pelosi told reporters.
But the White House legal team doesn’t see that extension as an option. The message, sent in the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, allowed the final extension, explicitly stating that the moratorium was only being upheld because it would expire on July 31, to the White House legal team. This led to a settlement on the position that there was no way to win. If they asked for another extension.
“There was no chance of winning or even a temporary positive effect and there was some possibility that it could provoke a damaging decision,” the White House official said.
A separate White House official noted that Kavanaugh’s opinion was public for all lawmakers to see, and the White House clearly stated its intention in June that a one-month extension until July 31 would be final.
It’s unclear if, if the deadline had been known for weeks, Democratic leaders were scrambling to pass the extension just a day before the deadline.
“We only found out about it yesterday,” Pelosi told reporters Friday evening after the vote failed. “There wasn’t enough time within our caucus to socialize it as well as build the necessary consensus.”
“We will not forget this issue; we look forward to being back here in the relatively near future,” Hoyer said.
Before the vote, Progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Corey Bush of Missouri stood outside Pelosi’s office and demanded that Congress remain in session until lawmakers reached an agreement that would extend it. Ocasio-Cortez dismissed the notion that this was a last-minute request from the Biden administration. “Everyone knew this was coming. We were sounding the alarm about this issue,” she said.
earlier in his press conference On Friday, Pelosi said she did not want to criticize the executive branch for waiting until Thursday to urge Congress to act.
“I don’t want to criticize what he has because he just made a statement yesterday,” Pelosi said. “But we are not moving away from the issue whether it is now or soon thereafter.”
Even if the extension had passed the House, it’s unlikely the Senate would be able to pass the bill quickly any time soon. The upper house has tied the floor for the foreseeable future as it tries to push for a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and any speedy passage would require a consensus from all incumbent senators. The Senate is also set to begin its recess at the end of next week, although that too could change if the leadership changes the schedule.
Republicans have pushed back that Democrats are trying to do it even at the last minute.
“The CDC order was supposed to expire at the end of this month. They knew the Democrats had an opportunity to change it in February. They didn’t do it,” GOP Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina said Friday. “We’ve heard the priority. We’ve heard the emergency. But it’s not an emergency. It’s a tragedy to this day that it’s the level of incompetence that we didn’t take action in February, March, April, May, June. July as well. “
As the House Democratic leadership held members into session on Friday evening, when many were planning to start the August recess, a senior aide in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party told CNN that moderates had threatened to leave. And didn’t vote for proxy because it was clear that there were no party votes.
“They don’t have votes and the leadership is playing hard ball and trying to force members to stay,” the employee told CNN. “Liberals are now threatening to board planes and not vote proxy.”
But other Democrats had insisted that no matter how low it was, the expansion could not be ignored.
“We have to put an end to this for the sake of public health,” Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross of North Carolina said on Friday. “For the economic well-being of the people, and to give time to the people for this change. I also wish that we had planned for this in advance, but I can say that people are making some progress. Need help right now.”
The White House is pressing to increase awareness and disbursements of the tens of billions of dollars available to recipients of rental aid and grants from COVID relief laws. The speed of that aid going out the door has been of concern to lawmakers and administration officials alike, as they have sought to pressure local officials to distribute the funds more quickly.
“State and local governments can use both Emergency Rental Assistance and their U.S. Rescue Plan state and local funds to support policies with the courts, community groups, and legal aid and to ensure no eviction demands when they have not sought emergency rental aid,” Biden said in his Friday statement.
This story and title have been updated with additional developments on Friday.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Daniela Diaz, Anna Bahn and DJ Judd contributed to this report.