Despite the efforts of some House Democrats, Congress failed to pass an extension on the nationwide eviction moratorium on Friday, the Associated Press reports. Without this protection, established last September to keep people housed amidst the economic downturn brought on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, more than 3.6 million Americans are at risk for being evicted as soon as Monday.
Although they failed to stop this impending wave of evictions—which the AP predicts will lead to the worst housing crisis in the United States since the 2008 recession—House legislators adjourned for the rest of the summer on Friday, one day ahead of their scheduled August recess. Incensed by her fellow lawmakers’ callous disregard for the people who put them in office, Rep. Cori Bush slept on the Capitol steps last night in protest.
“How do we do vacation when we know our people are about to be on the street?” the Missouri Democrat, who has in the past has been homeless herself, told reporters, per The Hill. “Housing is a basic necessity. How dare we not make sure our people have it?”
Bush—who was joined outside the capitol last night by fellow representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts—is specifically calling on Pres. Joe Biden to extend the eviction moratorium, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reconvene Congress’ lower chamber for a vote, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to extend the moratorium in the Senate.
“That’s the least we can do,” she told the press on Friday. “Make sure your basic needs are met.”