0937 GMT September 24, 2021
The expiration was a blow to President Joe Biden, who on Thursday made a last-ditch request to Congress to extend the moratorium, citing the raging Delta variant, according to Reuters.
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives adjourned without reviewing the tenant protections after a Republican congressman blocked a bid to extend it by unanimous consent until Oct. 18. Democratic leaders said they lacked sufficient support to put the proposal to a formal vote.
The U.S. Senate held a rare Saturday session but did not address the eviction ban. The White House had made clear it would not unilaterally extend the protections, arguing it does not have legal authority to do so following a Supreme Court ruling in June. More than 15 million people in 6.5 million U.S. households are currently behind on rental payments, according to a study by the Aspen Institute and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, collectively owing more than $20 billion to landlords.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday said that in "every state in this country, families are sitting around their kitchen table right now, trying to figure out how to survive a devastating, disruptive and unnecessary eviction".
Democratic Representative Cori Bush and others spent Friday night outside the U.S. Capitol to call attention to the issue.
She asked how parents could go to work and take care of children if they are evicted. "We cannot put people on the street in a deadly global pandemic," Bush said on Saturday.
Landlord groups opposed the moratorium, and some landlords have struggled to keep up with mortgage, tax and insurance payments on properties without rental income.