The White House stated on Aug. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t have the authority to issue another eviction ban after some Democrats called on the Biden administration to take action.
A growing chorus of Democrat voices, led by left-wing members of Congress, over the weekend urged the White House to unilaterally issue an order to renew the ban, which was handed down by the CDC in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The House of Representatives, meanwhile, adjourned for its scheduled August recess period, meaning that no congressional action could be taken.
But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration lacks the “legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium.”
“Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections,” Psaki said on Monday. “In the meantime, the President will continue to do everything in his power to help renters from eviction.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement on Sunday calling for the CDC eviction ban to be reimplemented after Democrats failed to get enough support for another bill before the recess started. Two days before the ban expired, President Joe Biden’s administration, meanwhile, late last month said it has to allow the ban to expire and argued recent court rulings had tied its hands and added that it’s now Congress’s responsibility.
However, Pelosi again renewed her calls on Monday, saying “it is unfathomable that we would not act to prevent people from being evicted,” according to a statement released by her office. The Biden administration, she added, needs to move—not Congress.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) joined Pelosi, saying it’s a “moral imperative” that the administration do something. Some Democrats, including left-wing “Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), have ramped up pressure for the House to return for a special session. Bush, for her part, has been sleeping on the steps of the Capitol since Friday.