Pelosi criticized the Supreme Court for ending the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium.
The court “immorally ripped away that relief in a ruling that is arbitrary and cruel,” she said.
Around 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction, according to Census data.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday rebuked the Supreme Court for ending a nationwide eviction ban, which puts millions of vulnerable renters at risk of eviction as new COVID-19 infections sweep the United States.
“Eviction is a horror that no family should ever have to experience – with cribs and personal belongings on the street, children in fear and distress and parents struggling to find basic shelter,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Putting people out of their homes and forcing them to crowd in with others is also a public health risk as the delta variant accelerates.”
The Supreme Court on Thursday evening struck down the Biden administration’s 60-day extension of the eviction moratorium, which was announced on August 3.
In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issued the moratorium, had no legal authority to do so. The conservative majority argued that it’s up to Congress to “specifically authorize” a “federally imposed eviction moratorium.” The three liberal justices dissented, arguing that Congress has allocated billions in federal aid to help landlords cover rent, and that an eviction ban isn’t as extreme as government-imposed coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
“Earlier this month, thanks to the leadership of President Biden and Congressional Democrats, the imminent fear of eviction and being put out on the street was lifted for countless families across America with the issuing of a new CDC eviction moratorium. Last night, the Supreme Court immorally ripped away that relief in a ruling that is arbitrary and cruel,” Pelosi said.
She joined a growing number of Democrats who have slammed the court’s decision. The White House on Thursday evening said it is “disappointed” with the ruling and called on states and cities to prevent evictions.
President Joe Biden had anticipated that extending the eviction moratorium would face legal challenges. The Supreme Court ruled in July that the CDC moratorium was unconstitutional and that any extension on the ban must come from Congress.
But Biden renewed the moratorium after he faced pressure from progressive groups and lawmakers to do so. Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri led a five-day sit-in at the steps of the US Capitol, urging Biden to extend the moratorium as it was set to expire on July 31.
“We were outside the Capitol for 5 days. Rain. Heat. Cold. If they think this partisan ruling is going to stop us from fighting to keep people housed, they’re wrong,” Bush tweeted on Thursday evening after the court’s decision was handed down. “Congress needs to act immediately. For every unhoused or soon to be unhoused person in our districts.”
Pelosi echoed the call, saying that Democrats “will continue our work to ensure that families suffering hardship during the pandemic can have the safety of home, as we also work with communities to ensure the immediate disbursement by states and localities of the over $45 billion allocated by Congress for rental assistance.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling may put millions of Americans out of a home soon, as landlords now have the power to evict people who are behind on rent due to the coronavirus pandemic. Around 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction, which makes up about 16% of all renters, according to Census data.
Coronavirus cases and deaths are spiking in the US. The current 7-day average of daily cases is 142,006, a nearly 3% uptick from last week, and the weekly average of daily deaths is 864, an 11% increase from last week, per the CDC.
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