Progressive Democrats call on Biden and the CDC to extend eviction moratorium which expires next week

ayanna pressley cori bush ilhan omar
Usher speaks with Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., second from left, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., second from right, as they arrive for an event to mark the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Washington.

  • A group of House Democrats called on Biden and the CDC to extend a federal eviction moratorium.
  • “It is an urgent matter of health, racial, and economic justice,” they wrote in a letter.
  • Around 7 million people are still behind on their rent, according to the Census Bureau.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Several progressive Democrats on Tuesday called on President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend a federal eviction moratorium that is set to expire on June 30.

In a letter signed by 41 members of Congress and led by Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Jimmy Gomez of California, the lawmakers urged the White House and CDC to “take action to prevent a historic wave of evictions and keep renters safely in their homes.” The letter was first reported by ABC News.

The group of House Democrats cited Census Bureau data that showed minority households, including Black, Latino, Asian and Indigenous, are more likely to be behind on their rent payments, arguing in support of the extension “to protect vulnerable renters” and “curtail the eviction crisis disproportionately impacting our communities of color.”

Around 7 million people are still behind on their rent, according to the Census Bureau.

The lawmakers also pointed to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that found that communities with lower COVID-19 vaccination rates and higher cases happen to be more at risk of facing eviction.

“Allowing the moratorium to expire before vaccination rates increase in marginalized communities could lead to increased spread of, and deaths from, COVID-19,” they said in the letter.

“Evictions take lives and push households deeper into poverty, impacting everything from health outcomes to educational attainment,” they added. “The impact of the federal moratorium cannot be overstated, and the need to strengthen and extend it is an urgent matter of health, racial, and economic justice.”

Tenants struggling to pay their rent during the COVID-19 economic crisis were handed a lifeline in March 2020, when Congress first passed a federal eviction moratorium. The CDC then issued its own moratorium in September, which has since been extended twice. The current moratorium is set to expire at the end of the month.

Biden has previously expressed support to halt evictions until September 30. In his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed in March, the president allotted nearly $22 billion toward emergency rental assistance.

The White House did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

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Powerful images capture Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley’s emotional reaction as Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd

cori bush ayanna pressley george floyd verdict
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) embraces Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) as members of the Congressional Black Caucus react to the verdict in the Derick Chauvin murder trial in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • Photos show Reps. Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley in a tearful embrace following Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict Tuesday.
  • Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges in the killing of George Floyd, whose death sparked worldwide protests against racial injustice.
  • “Black men, I love you, and you deserve to grow old,” Pressley tweeted after the verdict.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri and Black Lives Matter activist, could be seen crying as she embraced Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

cori bush ayanna pressley george floyd verdict
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) (C) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) walk with their arms around each other as members of the Congressional Black Caucus walk to a news conference following the verdict in the Derick Chauvin murder trial in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol on April 20, 2021.

Bush, a freshman congresswoman and Missouri’s first Black Congresswoman, said in a statement following the verdict that Chauvin’s trial “has been nothing short of a traumatizing, painful and gut-wrenching reminder of how difficult it is to hold police accountable when they murder members of our community.”

“Over the last month, we’ve been retraumatized, over, and over again as we watched 8 minutes and 46 seconds become 9 minutes and 29 seconds,” she wrote in the statement.

“Listening to the verdict today, I wanted to be overjoyed. But the truth is we should not have to wait with bated breath to find out whether accountability will be served.”

Source: Business Insider, Cori Bush

“The moment we heard the verdict, we held each other,” Bush wrote on Twitter with a video of her hugging Pressley, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “This feeling is not easy. But all of us will carry each other through this.”

ayanna pressley cori bush
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., left, hugs Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., in the Rayburn Room in the U.S. Capitol after the reading of guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

Pressley responded to Bush’s tweet, writing she was “so very grateful this justice seeker is my sister & colleague.”

“There was so much exchanged in this sisterly embrace,” Pressley tweeted. “History. Love. Trauma & Resolve. Our work is not done. We must contd fighting & legislating to save Black lives.”

Source: Twitter, Twitter

In a tweet following the reading of Chauvin’s guilty verdict, Pressley tweeted: “Black men, I love you, and you deserve to grow old.”

cori bush ayanna pressley george floyd verdict
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) (C) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) walk with their arms around each other as members of the Congressional Black Caucus walk to a news conference following the verdict in the Derick Chauvin murder trial in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol on April 20, 2021.

“Despite today’s guilty verdict, this system can never deliver true justice for George Floyd and his family,” Pressley said in a statement. “True justice would be George Floyd, alive today, at home with his fiancé, children, and siblings.”

“The truth is that we never expected justice from this trial,” she continued. “We demanded accountability. Today, a jury delivered accountability and Chauvin will face consequences for his actions.”

Source: Rep. Ayanna Pressley

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Republicans and majority of Democrats vote to keep incarcerated people from participating in elections

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Cook County jail detainees check in before casting their votes after a polling place was opened in the facility for early voting on October 17, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. It was the first time pretrial detainees in the jail will get the opportunity for early voting in a general election.

  • Progressive Democrats introduced a measure Tuesday to give incarcerated people the right to vote.
  • The amendment, to major voting rights legislation, failed by a 93-278 vote.
  • It received no Republican support. A majority of Democrats also voted against it.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

“America does not love all its people,” Rep. Cori Bush, a progressive Democrat from Missouri, argued on the floor of the House, saying that more than 5 million Americans are prevented from taking part in an election because they are currently incarcerated.

On Tuesday, Bush and Rep. Mondaire Jones, a New York Democrat, offered an amendment to sweeping voting rights legislation, HR 1. The legislation, as written, would already restore that right for those with felony convictions, but not for those who are now behind bars – one in six of whom are Black.

“This cannot continue,” Bush said. “Disenfranchising our own citizens is not justice.”

The amendment failed. No Republican supported the amendment, and most Democrats opposed it too, leading it to be put down by a vote of 97 to 328.

As it stands, only two states, Maine and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia never take away the right to vote, even when someone is incarcerated. But, per the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states disenfranchise anyone with a felony conviction, even after they have served their prison sentence. And while voting rights are sometimes restored later, there are often additional obstacles.

In Florida, for example, a sweeping majority of voters in 2018 approved a constitutional amendment restoring the right to vote for convicted felons who were no longer imprisoned. But the Republican-controlled legislature eviscerated the measure, requiring those with felonies on their record – disproportionately Black, overwhelmingly Democratic – to pay off any related fines before they could participate in an election again. According to The New York Times, as many as 80% are financially unable to do so.

Despite being denied the right to vote, those who are imprisoned do count: the US Census considers them residents of whichever place they are incarcerated in, meaning Black and Latino prisoners often help boost the congressional representation of largely white, rural populations.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chair of the House committee that oversees federal elections, noted that HR 1 would end that practice. Under the bill, incarcerated people would be counted, instead, as residents of their own hometowns. But she said that granting them the right to vote appealed to her sense of justice.

“If you’re going to count the individuals for redistricting purposes, in their prisons, then I think they ought to be allowed to vote there,” Lofgren commented. “Further, it occurs to me, those who oppose it think that denying a vote would somehow be a deterrent to criminal conduct. In fact, empowering people to be full citizens encourages rehabilitation.”

In the meantime, Republicans, in power at the state level, are pushing to roll back access to voting. In Georgia, the GOP, most recently stung by a Democratic sweep of its two Senate seats, is pushing to restrict early voting and limit mail-in ballots.

And at the US Supreme Court, Arizona Republicans are defending a rule that throws out the vote of anyone who casts a ballot somewhere other than their designated polling place. As a lawyer for the party said Tuesday, lifting that restriction “puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats.” Politics, after all, “is a zero-sum game.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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Rep. Cori Bush says she moved offices because she can’t waste time wondering if a ‘white supremacist’ is conspiring against her

Cori Bush
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri).

  • Democratic Rep. Cori Bush is moving offices to get away from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
  • Bush said she isn’t moving offices because she’s afraid, but because she has a job to do.
  • Bush said she and her staff should not have to come to work worried that Greene wants to do them harm.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hours after Democratic Rep. Cori Bush, of Missouri, said she was changing offices because Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene berated her in a hallway, the freshman lawmaker told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that she didn’t move out of fear, but because she has a job to do. 

“What I cannot do is continue to look over my shoulder wondering if a white supremacist in Congress by the name of Marjorie Taylor Greene, or anyone else, because there are others…that they are conspiring against us,” Bush said.

She said her focus has to be on St. Louis and the people she represents. Bush also emphasized that members of her staff deserve to feel safe at work.

“They should not have to come to work and wonder if that door is going to open…and it’s somebody who does not want to do them well,” Bush said.

Bush told Reid that despite working previous jobs in fast food, child care, and health care, she’s never had a work environment like her current one.

Greene reacted to Bush’s TV appearance Friday evening, retweeting The ReidOut, and saying “Same @CoriBush” in reference to Bush’s comments about her current workplace.

“You should stop yelling and attacking people,” Greene wrote. “No surprise you joined @JoyAnnReid, she enjoys lying too!”

Greene has come under fire in past days for social media posts that show her endorsing conspiracy theories about school shootings and supporting the execution of Democratic leaders. Greene later deleted the posts.

Friday afternoon, Greene tweeted a statement called “A Message to the Mob from Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.” In it she blamed the “left-wing Democrat mob” and the “Fake News media” for trying to discredit her.

“Every attack. Every lie. Every smear strengthens my base of support at home and across the country because people know the truth and are fed up with the lies,” she wrote.  

In a statement to Insider, Bush described the January 13 incident in question. She said she was walking to the House floor to vote and Greene “came up from behind” her loudly ranting into her phone while not wearing a mask. 

Bush reportedly asked Greene to put on a mask and Greene responded by “berating” her. Bush said a member of Greene’s staff told her to stop “inciting violence with Black Lives Matter.”

Bush was a racial justice and police accountability advocate before being elected to Congress. 

Greene responded to Bush’s move by calling her a liar and tweeting a video of the encounter, saying she “had the receipts.” The video shows Greene livestreaming with her mask pulled down. Someone shouts asking Greene to wear a mask and Greene responds “don’t yell at people” and “stop being a hypocrite.” A Greene staffer can be heard telling Bush to stop inciting violence. 

Bush addressed the video on “The ReidOut,” saying it only further proves her account to be true.

“For her to turn this around to be a Black Lives Matter issue, that’s not what it was,” Bush said. “You should care enough about your colleagues, and if you don’t believe…that this is a true health crisis…if you will not honor that…then let go of this job. It is not for you.”

“She can say whatever she wants to say, but the fact is, she did not have a mask on in that tunnel, and I absolutely spoke up.” 

Bush said the issue isn’t just about Greene, but relevant to any Congress member who won’t wear a mask.

“Abide by the rules so that we can do our jobs,” she said.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accuses GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of ‘losing control’ of his party as Marjorie Taylor Greene provokes backlash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) arrives for a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) arrives for a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy of “losing control of his caucus.”
  • Ocasio-Cortez was referring to GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has sparked widespread condemnation.
  • Greene has promoted a slew of conspiracy theories, including election disinformation. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday accused Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of “losing control of his caucus” after Democratic Rep. Cori Bush said GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “berated” her in a Capitol hallway without a mask on. 

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that McCarthy “has a responsibility to ensure his members do not harm others.” Bush, a Missouri freshman and Black Lives Matter organizer, tweeted earlier on Friday that she was moving offices to be farther away from Greene to protect her staff’s safety.

“He is losing control of his caucus & allowing these threats to go unchecked, while looking the other way as members like @CoriBush feel so unsafe that she must move offices just 3 weeks into her 1st term,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. 

Following up to that tweet, she added: “Moving offices is a huge and disruptive effort. Honestly it shouldn’t even be Rep. Bush that has to move and endure all this, it should be Greene – she is the one that posing a threat to others around her.”

Bush, Ocasio-Cortez, and some other Democrats are calling to expel Greene and other GOP members who spread election disinformation and helped incite the Capitol siege earlier this month.  

In a video Greene posted on Friday that appeared to show her January 13 encounter with Bush, the Democrat can be heard yelling at Greene to put on her mask. Greene, whose nose and mouth were exposed despite strict rules requiring face coverings in Congress, pulled a mask over her face and yelled back at Bush that she was a “hypocrite” for bringing “COVID positive members in here.”

Someone else with Greene is heard saying to Bush: “Stop inciting violence with Black Lives Matter.” 

It’s unclear what “COVID positive members” Greene was referring to or why she accused Bush of “being a hypocrite.”

A spokesman for Greene didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

 

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Rep. Cori Bush says she’s changing offices after being ‘berated’ in a hallway by a maskless Marjorie Taylor Greene

Marjorie Taylor Greene
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., sits in the House Chamber after they reconvened for arguments over the objection of certifying Arizona’s Electoral College votes in November’s election, at the Capitol in Washington

  • A Democratic congresswoman is moving offices to get away from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. 
  • Rep. Cori Bush tweeted Friday that Greene and her staff “berated” her in a hallway. 
  • Greene’s embrace of dangerous conspiracy theories have rankled her colleagues. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rep. Cori Bush announced on Friday that she’s changing offices after a maskless Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “berated” her and her staff in a hallway. 

Bush, a freshman Democrat from Missouri, said in a tweet that she decided to move offices for the safety of her staff and herself.

Greene, a newly-elected Republican from Georgia, has rankled colleagues on both sides of the aisle by peddling dangerous conspiracies associated with the QAnon movement and refusing to wear a mask on the Hill. 

Bush added that Congress should pass a resolution she introduced in the wake of the January 6 insurrection on the US Capitol to investigate and potentially expel members like Greene who promoted former President Donald Trump’s conspiracies that the 2020 election was stolen from him. 

In a January 18 tweet, Greene accused Bush, a racial justice activist, of leading the group of protesters who marched for police reform in an upscale part of St. Louis during the nationwide demonstrations in the summer of 2020. The group was met by two wealthy lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who came out of their house brandishing their guns at the protesters.  

Quoting Texas Republican chairman Allen West, Greene tweeted that Bush “is a BLM activist who led the mob that called for the rape, murder, and burning of the home of Patty and Mark McCloskey of St. Louis.”

Representatives for Greene and Bush did not immediately return Insider’s requests for comment. 

Read more: 

Republicans discussed, then ignored, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s threat to the GOP last summer, new report says

Marjorie Greene pushed an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in 2018 that a space laser ignited California’s worst wildfire of all time

Pelosi slams Republicans for appointing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has endorsed conspiracy theories about school shootings, to the House Education and Labor Committee

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Over 3 dozen Democrats lawmakers urge Biden to commute the sentences of all remaining federal death row inmates

Joe Biden White House
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 22, 2021.

  • Thirty-seven lawmakers asked President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of all remaining federal death row inmates.
  • The effort was led by Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri.
  • Biden is opposed to the death penalty and campaigned on ending the practice.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over three dozen lawmakers, led by Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Friday asking him to commute the sentences of all remaining federal death row inmates and “recommit to the tradition of due process, mercy, and judicial clemency when it comes to matters related to the criminal legal system.”

The letter included co-signers like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Karen Bass of California, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Jamaal Bowman of New York, where they expressed “grave concerns regarding the death penalty” and criticized the pace of executions under President Donald Trump.

“Night after night in the final days of the Trump administration, the American people bore witness to the cruel and heinous practice of executions,” they wrote. “Americans from all walks of life appealed to the moral conscience of judges and the President to save the lives of those on death row. To no avail.”

Under the Trump administration, there were 13 federal executions. Before federal executions resumed in 2020, the last federal execution was carried out in 2003.

Read more: Trump tested the Constitution and shredded traditions. Biden and the Democrats have big plans of their own about what to do next.

The signatories urged Biden “to take swift, decisive action” in commuting the sentences of death row inmates and accused Trump of enabling “carnage and unrestrained violence that must be rectified immediately.”

“This moment demands a series of meaningful actions to ensure that no President can authorize the killing of Americans through the death penalty,” they wrote.

Biden, who opposes the death penalty, instead favors inmates serving life sentences without the possibility of parole or probation.

When asked about Biden’s commitment to ending the federal death penalty during a Wednesday press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki didn’t have updates on any immediate plans of action.

“The President, as you know, has stated his opposition to the death penalty in the past,” she said. “He remains – that remains his view. I don’t have anything more for you in terms of future actions or mechanisms, though.”

In the letter, the signatories remained hopeful that they could partner with Biden in halting future executions.

“We look forward to working with your administration to enact just and restorative policies that will meaningfully transform our criminal legal system for the better,” they wrote. “By exercising your clemency power, you can ensure that there would be no one left on death row to kill.”

They added: “Given the historic nature of your administration, this would be an unprecedented but necessary –  action to reverse systemic injustices and restore America’s moral standing.

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