The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has turned down President Joe Biden’s request for a new scaled-down pandemic-related moratorium on residential evictions, citing a lack of legal authority to take the action, the White House said on Monday.
The previous moratorium, which protected millions of Americans behind on their rent from being tossed out of houses and apartments, expired at midnight on Saturday, with Congress failing to renew it as Biden had asked. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier on Monday pressed Biden to have his administration renew the ban without congressional action.
Biden had asked the CDC to target a new moratorium on counties with higher COVID-19 case rates, the White House said.
"To date, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and her team have been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium. Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
A Supreme Court opinion last month indicated that legislative approval would be required to impose a new moratorium.
The CDC declined to comment Monday on the White House statement.
Biden also called on states and localities to extend or put in place eviction bans for at the least the next two months, Psaki said.
The White House said among those behind on their rent, a third live in states that have extended their own protections against