House progressives win eviction moratorium battle

by | Aug 6, 2021 | Housing, Policy

U.S. House Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) slept on the steps of the Capitol for five nights in protest of the eviction moratorium expiring and won. 

The moratorium expired over the weekend, and Bush’s activism fought to help over 11 million Americans keep their homes. 

According to the Center for Disease Control the federal eviction moratorium will extend to Oct.3 and will impact areas with high levels of COVID-19 cases. 

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky released a statement in support of extending the moratorium amid the rising COVID-19 cases. 

“This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads,” Walensky said. “It is imperative that public health authorities act quickly to mitigate such an increase of evictions, which could increase the likelihood of new spikes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Such mass evictions and the attendant public health consequences would be very difficult to reverse.” 

On Tuesday, Bush tweeted, “On Friday night, I came to the Capitol with my chair. I refused to accept that Congress could leave for vacation while 11 million people faced eviction. For 5 days, we’ve been out here, demanding that our government acts to save lives. Today our movement moved mountains.” 

After pressure from progressives like Bush and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the Biden administration asked the CDC to extend the moratorium. 

“I asked the CDC to go back and consider other options that may be available,” Biden said. “My hope is it’s going to be a new moratorium that in some way covers 90 percent of the American people that are renters.”

In a press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said even though she and Bush disagreed on calling members back into session to vote on the moratorium, she is happy Bush brought it to the public’s attention. 

“I called her and said ‘hydrate,’ being the mom that I am,” Pelosi said. “But the value of what she did. Public awareness is very important.” 

Some Texas leaders joined Bush in her protest and praised her for her leadership. 

Dallas Civil Rights attorney and AG candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “WE DID IT! Honored to join so many of you in the nation’s Capitol today as we extend the fight for ALL people.” 

Dallas Pastor Rev. Fredrick D.Haynes tweeted, “the moratorium was extended because this SISTAH RIGHT HERE IS THE TRUTH! Thank’s Cori Bush for your courage and sacrifice!”

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

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Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.

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