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Democratic lawmakers attempt to revive eviction moratorium despite legislative, legal setbacks

New bill would direct HHS Secretary to impose eviction moratorium due to surging COVID-19 Delta variant, permanently grant such authority to HHS during national health crises. 

Updated: September 21, 2021 - 7:59pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Democratic lawmakers are attempting to reinstate an eviction moratorium, despite the previous one lapsing without any congressional intervention.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) introduced legislation Tuesday that would implement an eviction ban via the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the Associated Press, the bill would direct the HHS Secretary to institute an eviction moratorium due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. This new law would also revise current federal law by permanently granting this type of authority to HHS to implement during times of a national health crisis. 

The Supreme Court's conservative majority at the end of August allowed evictions to resume across the United States, barring the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This pandemic isn't over, and we have to do everything we can to protect renters from the harm and trauma of needless eviction, which upends the lives of those struggling to get back on their feet," Warren said in a statement. "Pushing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes will only exacerbate this public health crisis, and cause economic harm to families, their communities, and our overall recovery."

Bush, who has long advocated for the continuation of the eviction moratorium, said the recent surge in cases from the Delta variant is reason enough to institute a new moratorium.

Eviction filings have steadily increased since the end of the moratorium, but experts don't expect a surge of evictions until later this year.

The bill has gained the support of over two dozen Democratic lawmakers so far.