How Rep. Cori Bush Saved the Pandemic Eviction Moratorium

Cori Bush, the registered nurse, pastor, single mother, and freshman congresswoman from Missouri’s 1st congressional district just finished a five day protest on the steps of the Capitol to extend the pandemic eviction moratorium. The eviction moratorium protected renters from being evicted during the pandemic if they were unable to pay rent. With the moratorium ending, and COVID cases rising, Rep. Bush felt the need to stand up for Americans who might have been facing eviction. The protest began last Friday when she called upon her House colleagues to stay in DC until the eviction moratorium was renewed, rather than go home for a 7-week state work period. With Congress out of session, Bush was not pushing for her colleagues to address the topic, but rather the Biden administration. Bush’s campaign was successful, with President Biden putting a 60 day eviction ban in areas that have high COVID numbers right now. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that the ban will be put into effect in almost 90 percent of counties nationwide. 

Rep. Bush felt the need to be such an adamant supporter of the eviction moratorium because she knows what it is like to be a parent, or a just a person, facing housing insecurity. In the three nights she spent sleeping on the Capitol steps, her sleeping bag being wet by the rain, Rep. Bush reminded Americans that housing insecurity was nothing new to her. She told stories about a period of time where she and her two children slept in the backseat of their car because they could not afford rent. 

Rep. Bush has many congratulations and thanks from her Democratic colleagues for her success. The freshman congresswoman encouraged the activists that joined her on the Hill steps by telling them that the 60 day ban was proof of the success of their activism and a reminder that activism works. But the eviction moratorium is not out of the woods yet. After a Supreme Court decision that extended the moratorium through July, but stated that any further extensions would require congressional approval, Biden’s 60 day ban is likely to be challenged in court. 

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Written by Marianna Pecora