President Biden called on state and local governments to speed up rental aid to prevent a possible wave of evictions starting on Saturday.
“As the eviction moratorium deadline approaches tomorrow, I call on all state and local governments to take all possible steps to immediately disburse these funds,” Mr. Biden said in a statement late Friday afternoon, just before heading to Camp David for the weekend. “There can be no excuse for any state or locality not accelerating funds to landlords and tenants that have been hurt during this pandemic.”
A federal ban on some evictions is set to expire Saturday. The president said state and local governments began receiving billions of dollars in emergency rental assistance from Washington in February.
“Every state and local government must get these funds out to ensure we prevent every eviction we can,” Mr. Biden said. “My administration will not rest – nor should state and local governments – until Emergency Rental Assistance dollars reach Americans in need.”
He also offered the advice that “state and local governments should also be aware that there is no legal barrier to moratorium at the state and local level.”
The president’s statement came shortly before he was scheduled to depart the White House on Marine One for a weekend at Camp David, the secluded presidential retreat in the mountains of western Maryland.
A House panel met Friday morning to try to pass an extension of the eviction moratorium, but Democrats privately said they lacked the votes to approve it. Lawmakers were leaving for their annual month-long August recess.
The Supreme Court signaled in June that it would strike down another extension unless Congress approved it.
• Mica Soellner contributed to this report.