July 29 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden called on Congress Thursday to extend the national eviction moratorium that is scheduled to end on Saturday.
In the meantime, Biden has approached the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs to extend their own eviction moratoriums through the end of September.
The president said states and localities should use Emergency Rental Assistance funds received from the American Rescue Plan to accelerate distributions to tenants and landlords with the ending of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Given the recent spread of the Delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability," White House press secretary Jenn Psaki said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available. In June, when CDC extended the eviction moratorium until July 31st, the Supreme Court's ruling stated that 'clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31," Psaki said.
Psaki said with funds sent by the federal government to state and local governments, "there can be no excuse for any state or locality not to promptly deploy the resources that Congress appropriated to meet this critical need of so many Americans."