New COVID-19 Relief Act Does NOT Extend National Eviction Moratorium Set to Expire on March 31

Photo credits: Boyrcr420/iStock

By Victor Trammell – (Source: – Democrats in the U.S. Congress and the White House are rejoicing with glee after both congressional chambers approved President Biden’s new COVID-19 relief bill on Saturday (March 6).

Photo credits: Boyrcr420/iStock
According to CNBC, the so-called American Rescue Plan got approved by Congress after a 50-49 vote along party lines was held. Democrats say the U.S. Senate’s passage of a new $1.9 trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief stimulus package will be followed up with final executive branch approval on Tuesday (March 9).

As expected, Republicans in Congress argued against another 13-figure government spending package to stimulate the U.S. economy–amid an ongoing national health and economic crisis. Extensions on unemployment benefits were granted to displaced U.S. workers after the new bill’s approval by the Senate. Those benefit extensions will expire in September.

However, the absolutely critical national eviction moratorium (set to expire on March 31) was not extended in the new relief bill being praised by federal Democratic officials. If swift, decisive, and deliberate action is not taken on a tidal wave of looming evictions across the nation, the new Democratic legislative victory will be short-lived.

Steven S. Smith, a political science professor at Washington University in St. Louis, provided more insight regarding the national eviction threat that faces millions of vulnerable U.S. citizens–many of which owe far more in back rent than the paltry, relief bill-approved $1,400 emergency assistance check they will receive in the coming weeks.

“[To be included in budget reconciliation, a provision], has to affect the federal government’s budget,” Smith told CNBC.

“The expenses of raising the minimum wage and extending the eviction moratorium would largely fall on the private sector, including with small businesses and landlords,” wrote Annie Nova, a personal finance columnist for CNBC.

“Democrats have chosen to pass the relief bill through a process called budget reconciliation, which sets limits on what they can include. Advocates say it’s now up to President Joe Biden to extend the [eviction] ban,” she also wrote in her report.

Elsewhere in the U.S., state governments are scrambling with their own eviction prevention action plans–in lieu of the federal government’s failure to address the issue at hand. The Seattle Times reported on Thursday (March 4) that Washington state legislators are proposing the mandate of payment plans (and other measures) to stem the bleeding in their region.

Yahoo News reported on Friday (March 5) that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has pledged to authorize extending eviction moratoriums in the Midwestern state for another 30 days.

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