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U.S. Rep. Cori Bush said late Friday she planned to spend the night on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest the impending end of the coronavirus eviction moratorium.
“Millions are at risk of being removed from their homes, and a Democratic-controlled government has the power to stop it,” Bush tweeted around 1 a.m. ET Saturday. “Extend the eviction moratorium now.”
She posted a photo of herself with fellow progressive Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. She said she had written to other Democrats, inviting them to join her on the stairs and claimed more people were showing up in Saturday’s predawn hours.
Pressley and Omar both posted supportive tweets, saying “We are here!” and “We’ve got you, Sis.”
Earlier she tweeted, “Many of my Democratic colleagues chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes. I’ll be sleeping outside the Capitol tonight. We’ve still got work to do.”
The moratorium expires Saturday, meaning millions of renters could be forced out of their homes in the coming weeks as state and local officials struggle to distribute $46 billion in rental assistance to tenants and landlords across the country.
Democrats failed to get enough votes to extend the moratorium on Friday and left for a seven-week recess without voting, according to the Huffington Post.
In her letter to Democrats, she told her colleagues she has been evicted three times in her life and had previously been homeless, living with her two children in her car.
She also wrote, “We have a deeply rooted misconception in our country that unhoused people have done something to deserve their conditions – when the reality is that unhoused people are living the consequences of our government’s failure to secure the basic necessities people need to survive.”
“If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities – needlessly contributing to more death and suffering,” she added.
On Wednesday, Bush introduced the Unhoused Bill of Rights resolution, which would require the government to declare homelessness and public health emergency and make more investments in affordable housing, the Post reported.
Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.
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