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Cori Bush Slept on the Capitol Steps to Protest End of Eviction Moratorium

“There are evictions happening right now. Our team has heard that there have already been thousands today,” she wrote in a tweet posted Sunday evening. “People are being forcibly removed from their homes RIGHT NOW. There are potentially millions more to come. Has your member of Congress said anything about it?”

Bush was still there Monday morning, posting in an early morning tweet, “This morning felt cold, like the wind was blowing straight through my sleeping bag. Since Friday — when some colleagues chose early vacation over voting to prevent evictions — we’ve been at the Capitol. It’s an eviction emergency. Our people need an eviction moratorium. Now.”

What’s next for a moratorium as Bush keeps the pressure on? Well, following the expiration of the partial moratorium in the CARES Act, the moratorium was put in place last year by the CDC. As NPR reported, the move from the Trump administration came last September, designed to stop evictions of people impacted by the financial fallout of the pandemic and was originally set to last until the end of 2020. It was then extended to the end of January, then through March, and then again until the end of June. Near the end of June, CDC director Rachelle Walensky announced the moratorium would be extended to the end of July — the final intended extension.

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That’s also around when the Supreme Court got involved. In a case seeking to lift the moratorium, as CNN reported, SCOTUS justices left it in place. But Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing in a concurring opinion, indicated that he only voted to leave it in place on the grounds that it would be ending soon and argued that any further extension would require new congressional action, not just a CDC decree.

As the AP reported, the Biden administration took that part of the decision seriously, calling on Congress to take action given that further executive branch actions could likely be successfully challenged in court. Which brings us back to Bush and her three nights on the steps of the Capitol, pushing for congressional action.

The possibility for that congressional action is uncertain, though. Speaker Pelosi tweeted Saturday that despite her “relentless” campaign to extend the moratorium, congressional Republicans had blocked Democratic efforts to do so. A day earlier, she had said in remarks, “Really, we only learned of this yesterday.”

On Sunday, Pelosi asserted that the CDC does have the power to extend the moratorium, a take seemingly at odds with the White House’s interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling.

Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Cori Bush: Can She Bring the Movement for Black Lives to Congress?

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