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'Biden Took An Oath To Uphold The Constitution, Not Violate It': Turley Opines On CDC's Revised Eviction Moratorium

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021 - 04:20 AM

Update (1905ET): Weighing in on the CDC's moratorium extension is constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who says "President Biden took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to violate it when he can use the delay in any final order to get the money out the door."

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Update (1825ET): In a decision unlikely to hold up to legal scrutiny - which we assume will include an injunction, the Centers for Disease Control has issued a revised eviction moratorium - in complete defiance of the Supreme Court.

"This order will expire on October 3, 2021 and applies in United States counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2," according to a statement, which adds that the moratorium "allows additional time for rent relief to reach renters and to further increase vaccination rates."

As noted earlier, the CDC's order flies in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that only Congress has the power to extend the moratorium.

Looks like Maxine Waters gets her way, once again.

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Update (1710ET): During remarks on vaccines, President Biden said that the CDC would be announcing an extension of the eviction moratorium - which we assume will be promptly nullified after landlords sue.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it will be a 60-day moratorium which would protect areas where 90% of the population lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a legal authority for a new and different moratorium that would be for areas with high and substantial increases in COVID-19 infections.

The extension helps to heal a rift with liberal Democratic lawmakers who were calling on executive action to keep renters in their homes as the delta variant of the coronavirus spread and a prior moratorium lapsed at the end of July. Administration officials had previously said a Supreme Court ruling stopped them from setting up a new moratorium without congressional backing, saying that states and cities must be more aggressive in releasing nearly $47 billion in relief for renters on the verge of eviction.

Even Biden said he's not sure if the moratorium extension will hold.

The speech was not without at least one gaffe.

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After the Democrat-controlled Congress adjourned for 6 weeks without taking action on the now-expired eviction moratorium, mass finger pointing ensued on the left.

Responding to calls for the CDC to extend the moratorium, the Biden administration originally pointed to a June Supreme Court decision which made clear that only Congress has the authority to extend the program.

On Tuesday, however, the Washington Post reports that the Biden administration "is expected to announce a new action to limit housing evictions, moving swiftly after intense pressure from liberal House Democrats."

The exact details of the measure were not clear, the people said. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect a matter not yet made public.

The congressional pressure campaign intensified in recent days after a national eviction moratorium created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expired at the end of July. The Biden administration has repeatedly insisted that it lacked the legal authority to renew that program. However, the delta variant has renewed concerns about the impact of the expiring moratorium on millions of renters and White House officials have explored other options. -Washington Post

According to the New York Times, the extension could consist of a freeze which would remain in place until October 3, however final decisions are yet to be made.

On Tuesday, tensions between the White House and lawmakers intensified - with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ruling out bringing lawmakers back from vacation to address the issue via new legislation. 

After speaking with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on a private call, Pelosi said that the consensus amongst the Democratic caucus was that the House should stay on vacation - and that it was up to the Biden administration to extend the moratorium. As the Post  notes, "even if an extension were to pass the House, the measure is almost certain to fail in the Senate, given that Democrats would need 10 Senate Republicans to support the effort to overcome the filibuster."

"We will not relent until families and landlords have been protected from this crisis," Pelosi said in a Monday letter, despite doing absolutely nothing to meaningfully address the matter when Congress was in session.

During the call, Yellen answered questions from lawmakers over delays in disbursing over $46 billion in emergency rental assistance - which the Treasury Department has struggled to execute.

According to Moody's, over six million Americans are behind on rent.

On Monday, White House official Gene Sperling told the press that the administration was encouraging state and local officials to enact their own eviction moratoriums - while also working on federal agencies such as the USDA to extend eviction moratoriums if possible.

"States and cities need at least another couple months to get this money out, and there’s no sticks or carrots Treasury can wield to make that happen faster. What we need is time," said housing expert Paul Williams, a fellow at the nonprofit Jain Family Institute and the author of an analysis on the current crisis. Williams says officials from several city governments he's spoken to are doing everything they can to tap into federal funding, however they've faced nothing but roadblocks from the Biden Treasury.

"There’s no stick you can beat them with to make them go faster. They’re limited by technical and staff capacity to actually get this done," said Williams.

 

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