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White House says it has been unable to find way to extend eviction moratorium he rift between the White House and House Democrats over the expiration of the eviction moratorium escalated on Tuesday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ruled out bringing lawmakers back from their recess to address the issue through new legislation.

On a private call with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and House Democrats, Pelosi said the consensus of the caucus was that the House should not come back from its recess and that lawmakers should focus on urging the Biden administration to extend the moratorium unilaterally, two people familiar with the conversation said. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a discussion that was meant to remain private.

White House says it has been unable to find way to extend eviction moratorium The White House said Monday that it was unable to find a legal means to extend the eviction moratorium, despite the fact that millions of Americans could soon lose their homes even as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has “been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections.”

Citing a Supreme Court decision issued in late June, the White House said it was unable to unilaterally extend the moratorium for evictions. Late last week, Psaki issued a statement pressuring Congress to act, but the House went into recess before a vote could be held. Were it to pass the House, it is unclear if an extension of the moratorium would be able to pass the Senate.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki gestures as she speaks at a daily press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on July 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
White House press secretary Jen Psaki at a press briefing on July 27. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
The federal eviction moratorium expired over the weekend, yet more than 6.5 million U.S. households are currently behind in rental payments totaling more than $20 billion, according to a study by the Aspen Institute and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project. Without federal protections in place, many renters will now need to pay months of back rent.

“On this particular issue, the president has not only kicked the tires, he has double, triple, quadruple checked,” Gene Sperling, the White House COVID-19 economic relief coordinator, said at a briefing on Monday, adding, “The rise off the Delta variant is particularly harmful for those who are most likely to face evictions, and as that reality became more clear going into the end of last week, I think all of us started asking what more can we do.”

Renters in some areas are still protected by state and local moratoriums, some of which have been extended as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases continues to rise nationwide. A judge in DeKalb County, Ga., signed an emergency executive order over the weekend extending the moratorium there, a move the county CEO praised.

White House says it has been unable to find way to extend eviction moratorium

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