Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to the friendly studios of CNN on August 1 to hammer her fellow Democrats on “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.
AOC appeared to discuss the failure of Congress to act to extend the eviction moratorium that had been in place since 2020. The measure enacted to assist renters placed under financial stress by the COVID-19 pandemic expired on July 31.
It had been extended to that date by actions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The only method available for extending the term of the moratorium was amending federal law.
The Congresswoman correctly acknowledged that only partial blame could be assigned to Republicans since Democrats hold the House majority by a small margin. She stated that House leadership was at fault for not bringing an extension before the House for a vote before time ran so short as to put Democrats in an emergency mode.
AOC complained that a handful of “conservative Democrats” who she said threatened to leave the Capitol early rather than hold a vote on an extension. She did not seem to appreciate the irony that she and almost all Democrats have recently been singing the praises of Texas state legislators who fled the Lone Star State to delay a vote on an elections integrity bill.
She also blamed the White House for waiting very late in the process to request an extension of the moratorium, insisting that she had to “just call a spade a spade.” She lamented the Biden administration’s failure to move quickly after the Supreme Court ruled on the extension a month ago. According to her, the administration was “not being forthright” about getting the matter back before the House.
AOC told Tapper that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), chair of the Financial Services Committee, felt the same as she did about the White House’s delay and the “conservative Democrats” who let her down.
She acknowledged that significant federal relief funds have been appropriated but not yet rolled out that can help distressed renters. She did maintain that the House should reconvene immediately during the now-pending August recess and vote to extend the moratorium.