Cori Bush wipes away a tear and smiles with the Capitol building in the backgroud

The COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium Has Been Extended, Thanks To Actual Hero Cori Bush

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This past weekend, the federal moratorium on evictions expired, putting millions of Americans at risk of losing their housing as the global COVID-19 pandemic still very much rages on. The moratorium on evictions has been extended several times and other measures were taken to protect renters as well, like the $46 billion in rental assistance approved by Congress. However, by Saturday, only about $3 billion had been dispersed to those in need. And as lawmakers took off for vacation, an estimated 11.5 million adults behind on their rent were left to panic.

A few Congress members did stay to fight, most notably Missouri’s Cori Bush. Bush led a five-day protest starting Friday, camping out outside of the Capitol building.

On Tuesday, Bush and others were still camping out at the Capitol when President Joe Biden finally announced that he was ordering the Center for Disease Control to extend the moratorium. “Activists are in Congress, so expect for things to be different than maybe what people are used to,” Bush said in response to the news, adding that she was planning to head back to Missouri to help her constituents access those renters assistance funds.

The week leading up to Biden’s announcement was a confused mess. Nancy Pelosi was pressuring Biden to extend the moratorium, while Biden insisted that only Congress had the power to do that. And it’s true that thanks to a terrible recent Supreme Court ruling that was based on the conservative court’s previous attempts to limit congressional power, the moratorium was only extended temporarily, with the power to renew it placed in Congress’s hands. However, Pelosi came up short on the votes needed before certain Democrats jaunted away.

After repeatedly stating that he did not have the power to extend the moratorium, Biden finally ordered the CDC to do it anyway. However, his initial refusals have now called the legality of that executive order into question. A group of landlords and real-estate companies have already banded together to issue a legal challenge to the order and more lawsuits are likely to follow.

For now, though, we can thank Cori Bush for being a genuine hero.

Senator Elizabeth Warren praised Bush, saying, “I think that Cori Bush has helped protect millions of families across this country and she’s reminded every single person who stands up and fights that getting in these fights is worthwhile.”

New York Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones said, “Can there be any doubt that she’s been saving lives just like she said she would?”

(image: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.