In a turn of events likely to damage President Joe Biden’s standing with the progressive wing of his party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) failed last week in an attempt to take action that would have extended an expiring federal eviction moratorium, according to the Washington Examiner.
Though there was a meeting of the House Rules Committee on Friday to discuss taking action to prolong the protections for renters implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, sufficient support did not exist to secure a floor vote prior to the chamber’s August recess.
The issue was subsequently brought to the full floor seeking unanimous consent for an extension that would have lasted through Oct. 18, but the measure did not pass due to Republican objection, as The Hill noted.
House Democrats’ eleventh-hour maneuvering reportedly came at the behest of the Biden administration, which claimed it had no power to act unilaterally on extending the moratorium because of a recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue.
The high court recently declared by a margin of 5-4 that the eviction stay could remain in place through the end of July, but would require congressional action to continue any further than that, according to the Examiner.
Pelosi lamented the last-minute nature of the administration’s declaration, saying, “We only learned of this yesterday — not enough time to socialize it within our caucus as well as to build the consensus, especially in a time of COVID.”
She was not the only party leader to display thinly-veiled frustration at the White House, with Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) calling the situation “unfortunate,” and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) deeming it “inconvenient,” as The Hill explained.
The expiration of the eviction protections also drew the swift ire of the progressive wing of the Democrat party, with Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) going so far as to set up camp outside the Capitol on Friday night in protest. Bush blasted moderate Democrats, among others for adjourning for vacation “rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes.”
Bush was later joined by fellow “Squad” members Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), evidence of just how large of a wedge this issue has driven between the White House, Pelosi, and the far-left Democrats who continue to threaten their grip on the party,