In a move President Joe Biden admitted might be an end-run around the US Constitution, the federal health authority has imposed a new 60-day moratorium on evictions, as Democrats who failed to pass it in Congress cheered.
Announced on Tuesday afternoon, the new measure bans evictions in counties with high rate of Covid-19 transmission – the same counties where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently mandating even the vaccinated Americans wear face masks – and covers about 90% of renters in the US. It is expected to last for 60 days.
Even before the CDC made it official, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) announced the details in an email to reporters. He credited Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Missouri), who has camped out on the Capitol steps since Saturday in a publicity stunt intended to draw attention to the issue.
Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist from St. Louis who was elected to her first term in November, launched her protest after the House of Representatives adjourned last Friday without voting on a moratorium bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) tried to blame Republicans for somehow blocking the Democrat majority from passing a bill in the House.
On Tuesday morning, Bush argued that the White House should defy the Supreme Court – which ruled the original CDC moratorium unconstitutional – and impose another ban, even if it’s overturned later.
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