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White House tells states to prevent evictions, as House Democrats press Biden administration to act

Congress is pressuring the White House while the Supreme Court said only Congress could take action.

Updated: August 2, 2021 - 9:27pm

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The White House told state and local governments that they have the power to prevent evictions, following the end of the eviction moratorium.

The Biden administration said in a statement on Monday that while the federal government provided $46.5 billion to prevent renters from being evicted, some states and cities have been "too slow to act" by not providing the money to tenants.

There is "no excuse for any State or locality not to promptly deploy the resources that Congress appropriated to meet the critical need of so many Americans," the statement continued. "This assistance provides the funding to pay landlords current and back rent so tenants can remain in their homes or apartments, not be evicted."

The ban on evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic expired over the weekend, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was unable to extend it following the Supreme Court's ruling on June 29 that said only Congress could do so through new legislation.

The Congressional Black Caucus has pressured the White House to take action on evictions, the Associated Press reported. Additionally, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.)  spoke with Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday at the Capitol, where Bush was camped out with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) over the weekend to protest the evictions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House leadership said in a statement on Sunday that they were calling "upon the Treasury Department to indicate how the funds that it has already transferred to states and communities can be more effectively distributed to renters and landlords."

The statement also noted that the Senate is unable to pass an extension of the eviction moratorium, so there was no point for the House to do so.

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