We’ve been communicating since May, even earlier than that, with the [Biden] administration and saying, you know, “We need you all to expand the eviction moratorium. People are going to be at risk. The money that we appropriated to help renters and landlords isn’t going out as fast as it should be. Municipalities and states need more time. And we need you all to take action.”
And it wasn’t until Thursday that the [Biden administration] affirmatively told us that it was going to be up to Congress to create that expansion; they weren’t going to do it themselves. And then, you know, it was a rush in the House to try to figure out what we could do and how fast that legislation could be put together.
I remember being pulled aside by Chairwoman Waters in the middle of one of those votes and saying, you know, “We’re going to put this bill on the floor. Talk to your colleagues.” Chairwoman Jayapal from the Progressive Caucus asked if we can pull together an emergency meeting.
As you know, I serve as the whip of the Progressive Caucus to gauge where we will be at. And a lot of us, you know, dispatched and started having conversations with our colleagues, even some moderate Democrats, to say, “What do you need in order for you to be able to be with us in protecting 11 million people across this country from being evicted?”
And as those conversations were taking place throughout Friday, it was our understanding that those conversations would continue, that we would legislate and that we would protect these 11 million people.
And we were shocked when we saw that [House] leadership decided to seek unanimous consent and was not going to bring the bill to the floor for a vote and that some of our colleagues were leaving, and they were choosing to also not leave their proxy votes, because, you know, during the pandemic, we’ve been able to have the ability to vote without being physically at the Capitol.
And the fact that they weren’t willing to leave their proxy votes with people so that we could actually pass legislation was alarming to us and, you know, very shameful.