Aug 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden: Trump and Congress must enact emergency housing measures

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center, on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Saturday called on President Trump and Congress to work on an emergency housing program after enhanced federal unemployment benefits and an evictions moratorium expired.

Why it matters: A large number of monthly rent and mortgage payments were due Saturday, as the new month began.

  • The $600 a week tens of millions of jobless Americans had been receiving on top of regular unemployment payments ended Friday after Congress failed to reach an agreement on extending the measure.
  • A 120-day rent moratorium for renters in federally assisted housing, introduced under the CARES Act, expired on July 25.

What he's saying: Biden noted these expirations in a Medium post in which he blamed President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for sending the Senate home for the weekend:

"Because Donald Trump is abdicating his responsibility to lead us out of the pandemic crisis and the economic crisis, we now face a potential housing crisis across the country.
To prevent a catastrophic rise in evictions and homelessness, President Trump must work with Congress to act swiftly and enact a broad emergency housing support program for renters, just as we would in the aftermath of a natural disaster."

Of note: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Saturday morning in an attempt to break the congressional deadlock over the next stimulus bill.

  • Both Mnuchin and Schumer said at separate briefings after the meeting that the talks had been "productive."
  • Axios has contacted the White House and McConnell's office for comment on Biden's post.

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