750,000 households face eviction by January with possible ‘severe’ public health consequences, Goldman says

eviction order Arizona
The Maricopa County constable signs an eviction order on October 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Goldman Sachs projects 750,000 households face eviction by January with potentially “severe” COVID-19 consequences.
  • The Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium last week.
  • Democrats and the White House are prioritizing fixes to an emergency rent relief program.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Goldman Sachs projects that landlords could evict 750,000 households by the end of 2021 after the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down a federal eviction ban. They also warned there could be “severe” public health consequences from the coming wave of evictions.”

The Goldman analysts estimated 3.5 million households are struggling to catch up on rent, the group said in a note released Sunday. Collectively, those households owe landlords around $17 billion in unpaid rent, Goldman projected.

Goldman wrote that while the coming evictions may dent household consumption and job growth, the public health consequences are probably more “severe” and it may increase virus infections. COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant have surged nationwide, along with hospitalizations in many parts of the US.

Up until July 31, renters who hadn’t made monthly payments were shielded from eviction due to a moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That went in tandem with an emergency rental assistance program designed to provide renters with federal aid so they can stay in their homes.

But the money has been slow to get to beleaguered renters in most states and cities due to bureaucratic snags and onerous documentation requirements, among other problems. It helped spark a last-minute Democratic push to extend the moratorium so renters could have more time to receive federal relief, but it collapsed because of resistance from moderates.

Faced with withering pressure from progressives, the Biden administration enacted a limited moratorium in counties struggling with high infection rates earlier this month. But the Supreme Court struck that down on Thursday evening in a 6-3 ruling.

Conservative justices banded together and ruled that the public health agency had overstepped its authority, which could pave the way for additional federal overreach.

In the wake of the ruling shutting down the federal eviction ban, only seven states and the District of Columbia have eviction moratoriums. Housing experts warn a looming wave of evictions could hit low-income Black Americans the hardest.

“Evictions will occur where unemployment rates are highest-that is, where poor and mostly black service industry workers live,” Paul Williams, a fellow at the Jain Family Institute, wrote Monday on Twitter. He added most homeless shelters are already at capacity.

On Friday, the White House appeared to concede Democrats couldn’t muster the votes in Congress to renew a federal eviction ban. Instead, it was prioritizing ironing out the problems in the rental relief program.

“If there were enough votes to pass an eviction moratorium in Congress, it would have happened,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a daily news briefing. “It hasn’t happened.”

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri joined 61 House Democrats in calling for Democratic leaders to assist in extending the moratorium.

“The impending eviction crisis is a matter of public health and safety that demands an urgent legislative solution to prevent further harm and needless loss of human life,” the letter said.

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The Supreme Court struck down Biden’s eviction ban, but these 7 states and DC are stepping up to protect renters

A woman walks past a wall in Los Angeles that has graffiti reading "Forgive Our Rent"
Biden’s latest eviction ban was just struck down by the Supreme Court.

  • The Supreme Court struck down Biden’s eviction moratorium on Thursday.
  • That leaves a handful of states, such as New York and California, with eviction bans in place.
  • At least 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction in the next few months, per Census Data.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Supreme Court dealt the Biden administration a fresh blow on Thursday evening when it struck down a nationwide eviction moratorium, imperiling millions of renters struggling to catch up on their monthly payments. It leaves just a handful of eviction bans in place at the state level.

In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said in an unsigned opinion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had overstepped its authority by imposing a fresh moratorium tailored to areas struggling with high caseloads from the Delta variant. The court’s conservative justices said it was up to Congress to renew the moratorium, with three liberal justices in dissent.

Now, around 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction, which makes up about 16% of all renters in the US, per data from the Census Bureau.

The Biden administration issued the eviction ban on August 3 after progressives led by Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri stepped up pressure on the White House and demanded it. The moratorium was intended to last until October 3, with President Joe Biden saying the main goal was to allow time for the distribution of $46 billion in emergency rental relief aid from his stimulus package.

Data from the Treasury Department shows only around 11% of that federal money has reached renters. States and municipalities are grappling with low staffing, onerous documentation requirements, and stubborn landlords who refuse to accept the aid among other bureaucratic hurdles.

According to legal information resource site Nolo, seven states and DC still have some eviction bans of their own still in effect, which aren’t affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. You can scroll over each state to see more details about the ban:

Those states have different approaches to their moratoria. New York has a full eviction ban in place for only four more days, set to expire on August 31. Neighboring New Jersey’s ban is more open-ended, intended to last through two months after the end of the emergency.

The District of Columbia has a plan to gradually phase out their ban, allowing progressively more legal action by landlords over the next several months.

Studies increasingly indicate that states with eviction bans have lower COVID-19 caseloads compared to those that don’t. “There’s plenty of research that shows eviction moratoria prevents case growth in states where an eviction moratorium was in place versus states where moratoriums were limited,” Paul Williams, a housing expert at the Jain Family Institute, told Insider.

Democrats who favor an extension of the federal moratorium appear to have their hands tied because they don’t have enough votes to pass a renewal in either the House or Senate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that Democrats “will continue our work to ensure that families suffering hardship during the pandemic can have the safety of home” and attempt to speed up the delivery of rental relief.

But that may not come fast enough for millions of unemployed people who are on the verge of losing all their income from federal jobless aid after Labor Day. Democrats also don’t have enough support for a renewal.

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Pelosi says Supreme Court ‘immorally ripped away’ relief from Americans in its ‘arbitrary and cruel’ decision to end eviction moratorium

nancy pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on August 25, 2021.

  • Pelosi criticized the Supreme Court for ending the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium.
  • The court “immorally ripped away that relief in a ruling that is arbitrary and cruel,” she said.
  • Around 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction, according to Census data.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday rebuked the Supreme Court for ending a nationwide eviction ban, which puts millions of vulnerable renters at risk of eviction as new COVID-19 infections sweep the United States.

“Eviction is a horror that no family should ever have to experience – with cribs and personal belongings on the street, children in fear and distress and parents struggling to find basic shelter,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Putting people out of their homes and forcing them to crowd in with others is also a public health risk as the delta variant accelerates.”

The Supreme Court on Thursday evening struck down the Biden administration’s 60-day extension of the eviction moratorium, which was announced on August 3.

In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issued the moratorium, had no legal authority to do so. The conservative majority argued that it’s up to Congress to “specifically authorize” a “federally imposed eviction moratorium.” The three liberal justices dissented, arguing that Congress has allocated billions in federal aid to help landlords cover rent, and that an eviction ban isn’t as extreme as government-imposed coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

“Earlier this month, thanks to the leadership of President Biden and Congressional Democrats, the imminent fear of eviction and being put out on the street was lifted for countless families across America with the issuing of a new CDC eviction moratorium. Last night, the Supreme Court immorally ripped away that relief in a ruling that is arbitrary and cruel,” Pelosi said.

She joined a growing number of Democrats who have slammed the court’s decision. The White House on Thursday evening said it is “disappointed” with the ruling and called on states and cities to prevent evictions.

President Joe Biden had anticipated that extending the eviction moratorium would face legal challenges. The Supreme Court ruled in July that the CDC moratorium was unconstitutional and that any extension on the ban must come from Congress.

But Biden renewed the moratorium after he faced pressure from progressive groups and lawmakers to do so. Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri led a five-day sit-in at the steps of the US Capitol, urging Biden to extend the moratorium as it was set to expire on July 31.

“We were outside the Capitol for 5 days. Rain. Heat. Cold. If they think this partisan ruling is going to stop us from fighting to keep people housed, they’re wrong,” Bush tweeted on Thursday evening after the court’s decision was handed down. “Congress needs to act immediately. For every unhoused or soon to be unhoused person in our districts.”

Pelosi echoed the call, saying that Democrats “will continue our work to ensure that families suffering hardship during the pandemic can have the safety of home, as we also work with communities to ensure the immediate disbursement by states and localities of the over $45 billion allocated by Congress for rental assistance.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling may put millions of Americans out of a home soon, as landlords now have the power to evict people who are behind on rent due to the coronavirus pandemic. Around 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction, which makes up about 16% of all renters, according to Census data.

Coronavirus cases and deaths are spiking in the US. The current 7-day average of daily cases is 142,006, a nearly 3% uptick from last week, and the weekly average of daily deaths is 864, an 11% increase from last week, per the CDC.

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Progressive lawmakers, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, have largely stayed quiet as Afghanistan descends into chaos

alexandria ocasio-cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) talks with a reporter as she protests the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium on the House steps of the U.S. Capitol on August 3, 2021.

  • Since the Taliban captured Kabul, Democrats and Republicans have attacked the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • But prominent progressive lawmakers avoided criticizing President Joe Biden this week.
  • The crisis in Afghanistan could pose a test for the Democratic party in the 2022 midterm elections.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It’s been a week since the Taliban captured Kabul, triggering the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government, forcing a chaotic and ongoing evacuation of American and Afghan refugees, and heightening fears about the country’s future.

The swift upheaval reverberated through Congress, with Republicans and Democrats ripping into the US’s actions. Democratic-led committees called for investigations into Biden’s military withdrawal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy demanded a briefing from the White House on plans to ensure the safe transport of Americans out of the country.

Yet as harrowing scenes from Kabul dominated national news this week, progressive lawmakers, known for being critical of both parties and often quick to shed light on human rights abuses, have largely stayed quiet and avoided criticism of Biden.

Some prominent progressives have so far limited their public response to a single tweet. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who regularly uses Twitter to raise awareness about issues to her 12.7 million followers and hit back at other politicians, wrote once about the situation on Monday, a day after Kabul fell to the Taliban.

“For all those who lost, sacrificed, suffered, and served in the last 20 years of war and occupation, the United States has a singular responsibility in extending safe refuge to the Afghan people,” she wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez has previously characterized the US’ war in Afghanistan as a “mistake,” but did not scrutinize Biden’s handling of the US’ exit.

The New York firebrand usually does not shy away from criticizing members of her party: In May, Ocasio-Cortez stood up to Biden over his response to the violence in Gaza, claiming his words “dehumanize Palestinians & imply the US will look the other way at human rights violations.”

Bernie Sanders
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, examining wages at large profitable corporations.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont supported the US’ drawdown from Afghanistan. He posted once last Sunday about the fallout on Twitter, writing: “After 20 years of U.S. effort … Afghanistan was left with a corrupt government and an ineffectual military. At this moment, we must do everything we can to evacuate our allies and open our doors to refugees.”

Sanders, who has become a close ally to Biden, similarly avoided criticism of the president.

Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, who has used her activist background to push her agenda, also mentioned Afghanistan in a tweet on Sunday, with no mention of Biden.

Recently, Bush led a sit-in at the steps of the Capitol to increase pressure on the Biden administration to extend a federal eviction moratorium.

Ocasio-Cortez, Bush, and Sanders did not immediately return Insider’s requests for comment.

Afghanistan could present a major blow to Biden and the Democrats, who hope to maintain their House and Senate majorities in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.

A CBS poll on Sunday found that most Americans support Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan, but say the removal of US troops has gone badly. Around 53% of respondents disapprove of Biden’s handling of the withdrawal.

The lack of pushback from progressives also comes as the new Taliban government presents an uncertain future for Afghans. The militant group has attempted to present a moderate stance, claiming they will not impose strict restrictions, such as forbidding women’s education, as they had from 1996 to 2001. But history provides reasons to remain skeptical, and Taliban forces have already started attacking Afghans as of last Sunday.

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A federal judge refused to block the CDC’s moratorium on evictions – but said she believes the ban is illegal

Eviction protestors
New Yorkers protest evictions.

  • A federal judge refused to block the CDC’s eviction ban on Friday.
  • But she wrote she believes the ban is illegal and her “hands are tied” with the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the ban.
  • After the nationwide ban lapsed, Biden announced a new 60-day one after pressure from progressives.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A federal judge refused to block the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s moratorium on evictions on Friday.

But US District Judge Dabney Friedrich made it clear she believes the ban is illegal, writing in her opinion that the court’s “hands are tied” by a higher court’s ruling keeping the ban in place.

Friedrich wrote she believes the new ban on evictions implemented by the CDC is similar to a version of the rule she had deemed illegal in May, and she added in her opinion that even though President Joe Biden’s administration “repeatedly” said it wouldn’t further extend the moratorium given a June extension, but this effectively does so anyway.

Still, she agreed to keep the ban in place in May to prevent a wave of COVID-19 cases.

The eviction ban was initially announced on September 4, to take effect for the rest of 2020. On his first day in office, Biden extended the order through June 30 to aid tenants struggling through the pandemic’s financial fallout. In May, Friedrich wrote that the CDC did not have the authority to impose a nationwide eviction ban, saying the ban was among “difficult policy decisions that have had enormous real-world consequences” in the pandemic, but ultimately the CDC could not overrule property rights.

In June, The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to keep the moratorium in place and it was extended an additional month, through July. Its expiration at the end of that month prompted outrage from Democrats who argued that renters still needed pandemic relief.

Rep. Cori Bush, who led efforts to get the ban extended for a third time, slept at the Capitol as her Democratic colleagues went on recess in a process against renters being evicted. The pressure that progressives put on Biden ended up being successful – on August 3, Biden announced a 60-day eviction ban through October 3 that is not nationwide, but will protect an estimated 90% of renters.

While the extension was a win for renters, landlords turned to legal action. The Alabama Association of Realtors filed a lawsuit on last week challenging the moratorium’s legality, arguing the CDC exceeded its authority. The groups argued the CDC caved into “a tidal wave of political pressure” from Democrats pressing the White House to act unilaterally, given that Biden had previously said there was no legal path forward for a further extension.

The new eviction moratorium is designed to protect renters in areas where community transmission rates are reaching “high or substantial” levels, and the Biden administration now appears to be focusing on distributing $46.5 billion in emergency rental assistance as fast as possible.

“By the time it gets litigated, it will probably give additional time while we’re getting that $45 billion out to people behind on rent,” Biden said last week, in reference to the moratorium’s legal challenges.

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Progressive Cori Bush says ‘some Democrats went on vacation instead’ of preventing the eviction moratorium from expiring

Cori Bush
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

  • Rep. Cori Bush on Saturday accused Democrats of leaving for vacation before passing legislation that would have renewed the eviction moratorium.
  • About 7.4 million Americans are at risk of eviction in the next two months after the moratorium ends July 31.
  • The House failed to pass a bill that would have extended the moratorium and members are now on recess until August.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Cori Bush slammed Democrats, saying they decided to take a recess ahead of the upcoming eviction moratorium deadline, potentially plunging millions of renters into a state of disarray.

“We could have extended it yesterday, but some Democrats went on vacation instead,” Bush, a progressive representative from Missouri, said on Twitter Saturday morning.

“We slept at the Capitol last night to ask them to come back and do their jobs. Today’s their last chance. We’re still here,” she added, including a picture of her and several activists outside the Capitol building.

Hours after failing to pass a bill that would have extended the eviction moratorium, the House on Friday entered a recess that’ll last until August.

The eviction moratorium, set up in September 2020 in response to the financial devastation brought on by the coronavirus, was extended in June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The White House encouraged Congress to extend the moratorium past July, giving guidance to do so at the last minute. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the Biden administration would have “strongly supported” the CDC in a decision to renew the moratorium. But a Supreme Court ruling specified that the decision to renew required congressional approval, the White House statement said.

Democrats unanimously voted to pass the bill, but Republican House members blocked the legislation.

After the bill failed, top Democrats expressed their disappointment in a statement.

“It is extremely disappointing that House and Senate Republicans have refused to work with us on this issue,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and House Majority whip James Clyburn after the vote failed. “We strongly urge them to reconsider their opposition to helping millions of Americans and instead join with us to help renters and landlords hit hardest by the pandemic and prevent a nationwide eviction crisis.”

Once the moratorium expires on July 31, about 7.4 million Americans will risk eviction in the next two months. That translates to about 16% of all renters, according to Census Pulse Survey Data.

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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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