A group of liberal Democrats slept outside the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Friday night to protest the looming expiration of the federal eviction moratorium.
Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota camped out overnight at the Capitol to reinvigorate calls to extend the moratorium which expires at midnight on Saturday. Sen. Elizabeth Warren also joined the group on Saturday.
“We’ve been outside of the Capitol since last night demanding that our Democratic-controlled government take action to save millions from eviction. We have until midnight,” Ms. Bush tweeted.
Ms. Bush and other lawmakers have been posting pictures of themselves outside the Capitol on social media, calling for support on getting the moratorium extended in the eleventh hour.
The House adjourned for recess on Friday after failing to garner enough support to hold a vote on extending the eviction moratorium.
Ms. Bush, who touched on her own experience of being evicted from rental properties, wrote a “Dear Colleague” letter to her fellow Democrats on Friday, asking them to join her overnight.
“I have been unhoused and evicted,” Ms. Bush wrote. “I’ve slept in my car and slept outdoors. I know what it’s like, and I wouldn’t wish that trauma on anyone.”
The lawmaker added that she couldn’t “in good conscience” leave the District without getting something done.
The vast majority of members have already returned to their home districts, but Ms. Bush was joined by some of her closest allies in the caucus.
“We’ve got you, sis,” Ms. Pressley tweeted, along with a photo of her holding a sign that reads “housing is a human right.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled on Friday that she believed it was up to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the moratorium.
“Congress has the power to direct the CDC to extend the eviction moratorium to provide relief, as we encourage state and local governments to distribute the money that we allocated,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Friday.
The Supreme Court ruled in June that Congress has to authorize the extension of the CDC moratorium, which the White House seemed to signal keeps President Biden’s hands tied on the matter.
The federal eviction moratorium was put in place by former President Donald Trump and extended by Mr. Biden to aid in the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.