Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and members of “The Squad” erupted in celebration when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a 60-day extension of the eviction moratorium that had expired over the weekend — crediting fellow Progressive member Cori Bush’s protests for the move.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) had been camping on the Capitol steps since last week to protest the expiration of the ban and to press the Biden administration to extend it.
“On Friday night, I came to the Capitol with my chair. I refused to accept that Congress could leave for vacation while 11 million people faced eviction. For 5 days, we’ve been out here, demanding that our government acts to save lives,” Bush wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
“Today, our movement moved mountains,” Bush, a member of “The Squad,” said in the posting.
Ocasio-Cortez, the self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” and fellow Squad colleague, tweeted that Bush showed “servant leadership in action.”
”Give @CoriBush her flowers she just paved the way for 11 million renters in the United States,” AOC wrote on Twitter with a picture of Bush holding a bouquet of flowers while surrounded by a crowd of supporters.
Corrine Perkins, a Reuters reporter, posted a photo of Ocasio-Cortez and Bush enjoying a moment on the Capitol steps after the CDC announcement.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) lauded Bush for bringing attention to the end of the ban and the need for it to be extended.
“Organized power is realized power, and today’s announcement is a testament to the strength of our unwavering collective advocacy,” the fellow Squad member said in a statement.
“I applaud the relentless work of my friend and sister in service, Congresswoman Cori Bush, whose experience as a formerly unhoused person and powerful advocacy helped to secure this victory today,” she wrote.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) also weighed in on her Squad-mate.
“You get what you organize for. Thank you @CoriBush for leading on this,” she said.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced the agency was extending the ban in counties where the level of coronavirus transmission is “substantial” or “high.”
“The emergence of the Delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated,” she said in a statement. “This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads.”
The moratorium expired at midnight Saturday after the House failed to extend it before lawmakers left town for the August recess.
The Biden administration last Thursday asked Congress to pass legislation to prolong the ban after the Supreme Court in June ruled the CDC overstepped its authority by enacting the moratorium but allowed the ban to remain until July 31.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the decision that an extension would require action by Congress.
President Biden acknowledged that the CDC announcement might not survive a legal challenge.
“I’ve sought out constitutional scholars to determine, what is the best possibility that would come from executive action or the CDC’s judgment?” he told reporters at the White House before the announcement. “What could they do that is most likely to pass muster, constitutionally? The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster, number one.”
But he said some constitutional scholars said it might, making it “worth the effort.”
During the 60-day extension, Biden called on state and local governments to distribute the $45 billion in unspent rental assistance funds that were included in coronavirus relief bills intended to assist renters and homeowners.