Yesterday the Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium that was reinstalled at the beginning of the month. It declared that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had overstepped its own power, as The New York Times reports, citing the eight-page opinion:
“The C.D.C. has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination,” the opinion said. “It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the C.D.C. the sweeping authority that it asserts.”
The framing of the federal eviction moratorium as the CDC’s grand power trap is especially maddening because it was never enough. The red tape of austerity that the Biden admin placed over federal funding for back rent made it impossible for most people to access the extremely basic offerings made to them. By July’s end, $41.4 billion of the $46.5 billion earmarked for rental aid — that’s 89 percent of it — still went unused. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people now face eviction because the barest of protections given to them under the moratorium has been lifted. What Biden does next will absolutely define his presidency, as it will define the leadership of all those who have the power to act and choose instead to do nothing.
This week, we spoke with Representative Ro Khanna, a progressive in the House who has voiced his support for watershed leftist policies like Medicare for All. Our conversation sheds light on what’s possible for progressive Democrats in Congress, as well as what must be done to change the status quo upheld by the party establishment. From Ro’s insights into the battle for Medicare for All, to the theme of “party unity” that he’s invoked to shore up support for the budget bill, this episode puts a spotlight on the evolving terrain of progressive politics on Capitol Hill. We hope you enjoy it!