AOC hits out at Biden over eviction moratorium as police ban her from lying down in overnight Capitol protest

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not taking the end of the eviction moratorium lying down, literally.

The New York Democrat is one of many progressive House Democrats who is protesting the lapse in the eviction moratorium, alongside Reps Cori Bush of Missouri, Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones of New York, among others.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez told The Independent that Capitol Police said she and others are not allowed to formally lie down, so they have to stay sitting up.

“Yeah, I mean I have a little meditation cushion I’ve been sitting on and some of us are just cycling in and out, giving each other a break,” she said.

The eviction moratorium, put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lapsed on 31 July as the House of Representatives went into recess. Since then, Ms Bush and others have been protesting on the steps of the Capitol.

The White House has said that extending the moratorium requires an act of Congress.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declared on June 29th that the CDC could not grant such an extension without clear and specific congressional authorisation,” Gene Sperling, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden, said in a briefing on Monday.

“But given the rising urgency of the spread of the Delta variant, the president has asked all of us, including the CDC, to do everything in our power to look for every potential legal authority we can have to prevent evictions.”

Conversely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the CDC to extend the moratorium and joined other Democratic House leaders to ask the White House to extend the moratorium.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez sided with Ms Pelosi.

“I think the White House is in the wrong here, I actually think the speaker is correct,” she said.

At the same time, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said that she would not be opposed to the House reconvening.

“Well, I think the status of things right now is that the White House action is the most imminent and it is the fastest way to get relief to people,” she said.

“So, while I certainly do not object to the House coming back reconvening for a vote, ultimately the thing that’s gonna get ... now that the moratorium has lapsed, the fastest course of relief for families is for Biden to act now and buy Congress time to cast that vote.”

The congresswoman said other members have already returned to Washington, such as Reps Jimmy Gomez and Adam Schiff of California and Rep Joyce Beatty of Ohio.

“And so there are actually members that are actively flying back to be here and help in the effort,” she said.

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