At midnight tonight, the federal eviction moratorium ends. Millions of people will be thrown out into the streets with nowhere to go as the Delta variant of the Trump-Virus cuts a huge swath of the public to the ground.
I have read that there was money in the original pandemic legislation that was supposed to go to landlords to make up the difference; I have also read that much of it was untapped for one reason or another (including that the paperwork to apply for the money was too much for Ma & Pa operations). I suspect this is the same pile of cash that is being haggled over by the Republicans to pay for the Infrastructure Bill, you know, instead of keeping people safe in their homes.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie (emphasis theirs):
At midnight tonight, federal protections barring evictions will expire, putting millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes during the pandemic.
The expiration has led to a wave of infighting between the White House and House Democrats over the administration’s last-second punt to Congress on the issue — a bit of a surprise, given how closely the Biden administration tends to work with House leadership.
— On Thursday, the White House released a statement saying that it could not unilaterally continue the eviction moratorium, citing a Supreme Court ruling from last month and urging Congress to act before midnight Saturday — which is not enough time for Congress to do … well, just about anything.
— That put Speaker NANCY PELOSI in an unusual situation: scrambling to try and pass a bill Friday, ahead of recess, without much notice or time to whip votes — which is not the way the famously fastidious speaker tends to operate.
— In a presser Friday, White House deputy press secretary KARINE JEAN-PIERRE said the administration had “been having conversations with Congress for some time about this.”
— That’s not the view on the Hill, as Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle and Katy O’Donnell report: “Some Democratic lawmakers have privately said they are outraged by the debacle and the lack of notice from the White House.”
— Either way, the House’s last-ditch effort Friday failed as members of Congress packed up and went home for a weekslong recess. “Really, we only learned about this yesterday,” Pelosi told reporters afterward, nodding to the White House’s last-minute notice. “Not really enough time to socialize it within our caucus to build … the consensus necessary.”
— Afterward, members of the “Squad” mounted a protest at the Capitol, and Rep. CORI BUSH (D-Mo.) spent the night on its steps and was still there in a sleeping bag as of this morning. (h/t CNN’s Daniella Diaz)
It has the makings of not just a one-time political headache, but an ongoing migraine if the U.S. sees an unprecedented surge in evictions in the coming months just as the highly transmissible Delta variant causes a spike in coronavirus cases, as Katy O’Donnell writes.
Here in the Peoples Republic of Seattle, the City has been sweeping the parks removing the encampments. It seems like there are weekly stories of homeless people sliding off the freeway embankments into oncoming traffic.
It is a complete moral failing that the richest country on earth cannot house its citizens —during a pandemic, no less!— and certainly as the economy is alleged to be recovering and in fact surpassing where it was BEFORE the pandemic.