THE White House is urging “cities and states to local courts, landlords, Cabinet Agencies” to turn their back on the Supreme Court’s decision to let the Biden administration’s Covid-19 moratorium on evictions expire.
“In light of the Supreme Court ruling and the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission, President Biden is once again calling on all entities that can prevent evictions – from cities and states to local courts, landlords, Cabinet Agencies – to urgently act to prevent evictions,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated.
Psaki’s statement came after the highest court in the land on Thursday decided by 6 to 3 vote favoring conservative justices, granted a request to lift the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium that was set to phase out on Oct. 3, according to Reuters.
The court pointed the finger at Congress stagnation.
“Congress was on notice that a further extension would almost surely require new legislation… yet it failed to act in the several weeks leading up to the moratorium’s expiration,” the court wrote, according to the Hill.
Left-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer penned an 8-page dissent that was supported by justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
The three criticized colleagues on the bench for not considering the public health crisis as a factor in their decision.
“The public interest strongly favors respecting the CDC’s judgment at this moment, when over 90% of counties are experiencing high transmission rates,” Breyer wrote.
In June, the court rejected landlord’s attempt to block Covid-19 eviction freezes by 5 to 4. with Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the majority.
It was then that Justice Kavanaugh urged Congress to take the lead and pass a law granting the CDC to lawfully extend its moratorium beyond its expiration date, according to the Hill.
But Congress didn’t act and the policy wasn’t renewed.
That led the Biden administration to move forward in August to try and keep the eviction freeze going through early October.
The policy was fought out in federal court by realtor associations and landlords in both Alabama and Georgia, Reuters reported.
In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio publicly condemned the Supreme Court decision – and singled out the “right wing extremists” whose decision could force out people from their homes if they can’t cover the rent.
“A group of right wing extremists just decided to throw families out of their homes during a global pandemic,” De Blasio tweeted.
“This is an attack on working people across our country and city. New York won’t stand for this vile, unjust decision.”
EVICTION FREEZE 'SAVED LIVES'
Psaki suggested in the release that the CDC-issued moratorium preventing landlords from evicting tenants during the pandemic “saved lives by preventing the spread” of the virus.
Previously, the White House State called on local elected officials to "move more aggressively" in dispersing $46.5billion in Emergency Rental Assistance funds that came as part of the president's $1.9trillion American Rescue Plan.
The Biden Administration expressed that it was “disappointed that the Supreme Court has blocked the most recent CDC eviction moratorium while confirmed cases of the Delta variant are significant across the country," according to the release.
Psaki stressed the decision will force families to “will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19.”
The day before, the White House provided informed vulnerable renters and landlords struggling during the pandemic that the Treasury Department would reduce documentation requirements to secure emergency rental assistance flowing to hundreds of thousands of applicants who may be held up in administrative red tape.
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