Biden authorities is predicted to announce a restricted, focused eviction moratorium, which is predicted to final by early October
An official familiar with the matter says the announcement will not be another nationwide eviction freeze, but will be somewhat more restricted and targeted at places with high levels of Covid spread.
A source familiar with the effort said the announcement would be a 60-day moratorium on counties with high or significant transmission, covering 80% of the US counties and 90% of the US population.
The argument the administration makes is that the specificity of the public health metric is different from the previous extension.
“The CDC has found that the (Supreme Court) has banned an extension of the existing moratorium, but what they are being enacted today is a completely new one – different in shape and structure,” said a senior administration official.
Officials have said time and again over the past few days that they do not believe they have legal authority to implement a new version of the moratorium. However, it is expected to target areas where the spread of the virus is most acute. Officials plan for the limited, targeted eviction moratorium to end in early October, but the exact schedule is still being worked out, according to an administrative source.
The White House and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have continued to seek legal action to extend a now-expired statewide eviction ban as the issue drives a huge wedge between President Joe Biden and members of his party. President Joe Biden spoke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday to discuss the eviction issue and outline his plan to extend the moratorium to certain areas of the country, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Administrative attorneys had been unable to figure out how Biden could use his administrative powers to continue the eviction freeze following a Supreme Court decision in late June.
White House officials and the CDC have been working for days to find a way to address the effects of the July 31 expiry of the moratorium and the severely negative political fallout caused by frustrated Democrats on Capitol Hill.
The House Democratic leaders who have called on Biden to find a way to extend the moratorium are well aware that they do not have the votes to legislate. The prospects in the Senate are even worse.
That has put the entire burden on the government for the past few days, with increasing pressure being put on by progressive Democrats.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday the government was continuing to seek legal ways to extend a version of a moratorium, noting that the government continued to envisage a “partial, limited short-term extension”.
However, Psaki also made it clear that government attorneys had not identified any clear legal options, although Biden had repeatedly asked his teams to look for them over the past few days.
That reality has raised the question of whether new efforts would survive legal challenge, officials say. That probably includes the new measures Biden is considering.
But amid immense pressure from House Democrats to act from Pelosi onwards, the government has continued to press for options.
“We are still examining legal options. That process is still ongoing, ”Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.
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