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CDC issues new eviction moratorium

Biden administration announces new eviction ban
Biden administration announces new eviction ban 01:29

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a new, "temporary" moratorium on evictions, the agency announced Tuesday. The new moratorium, which CBS News confirmed earlier Tuesday would be announced, will be separate from the CDC's prior eviction moratorium that expired over the weekend. 

The new order, which expires on October 3, covers counties experiencing "substantial" or "high" levels of COVID-19 spread. One source familiar with the moratorium said that currently includes about 80% of U.S. counties, or 90% of the U.S. population. 

"The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday. "This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads."

The latest moratorium order could face legal challenges, after the Supreme Court determined the Biden administration couldn't extend the previous moratorium eviction through executive action. As the latest eviction moratorium was about to end last week, the White House told Congress to act, while Congress called on the White House to act. The White House said it lacked the authority to extend the moratorium.

In June, the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 decision to allow the eviction ban to continue through the end of July. One of the justices voting in the majority, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, made clear that he would block any additional extensions unless there was "clear and specific congressional authorization."

White House announces eviction moratorium in areas with high COVID infections 15:33

President Biden told reporters Tuesday afternoon he isn't sure whether the new eviction moratorium will pass constitutional muster, but any litigation would "probably give some additional time" for rental assistance funds to flow. 

"Any call for a moratorium based on the Supreme Court's recent decision is likely to face obstacles. I've indicated to the CDC I'd like to look at other alternatives," the president told reporters Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, public health officials raised concerns that allowing evictions to resume while the coronavirus is surging again could lead more people to get sick and die unnecessarily.

Representative Cori Bush has slept outside the Capitol to protest the end of the eviction moratorium, and call for action. She tweeted Tuesday afternoon that "our movement moved mountains." 

"On Friday night, I came to the Capitol with my chair," Bush tweeted. "I refused to accept that Congress could leave for vacation while 11 million people faced eviction. For 5 days, we've been out here, demanding that our government acts to save lives. Today, our movement moved mountains."

Steven Portnoy and Alex Tin contributed to this report.

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