Here’s Why ‘The Squad’ Is Camping Out On The Steps Of Capitol Hill

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Font Size:

Progressive Democrats have been camping out at the Capitol building since Friday to protest Congress’ inaction on the eviction moratorium, which ended Saturday.

“5 AM. This morning felt cold, like the wind was blowing straight through my sleeping bag,” Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush said Monday morning on Twitter. “Since Friday—when some colleagues chose early vacation over voting to prevent evictions—we’ve been at the Capitol.”

“It’s an eviction emergency,” she added. “Our people need an eviction moratorium. Now.”

Bush, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar decided to camp at the building in protest.

The eviction moratorium was first introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2020 to prevent evictions during the pandemic. It expired Saturday after Congress failed to take action to extend it. (RELATED: Top Republican Demands Janet Yellen Testifies About $44 Billion In Unused COVID Funds)

Both President Joe Biden’s administration and former President Donald Trump’s administration extended the moratorium multiple times. The Supreme Court ruled in June that Congress needed to pass legislation to approve further extensions.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a Thursday statement that the president asked Congress to extend the moratorium again. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats called on the Biden administration to extend the moratorium until Oct. 18, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling.

A joint statement from Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Whip James E. Clyburn and Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark was released Sunday and called extending the moratorium a “moral imperative.”

The statement called on the administration to extend the moratorium because, the lawmakers said, “it is clear that the Senate is not able to do so.”

“As the CDC doubles down on mask-wearing and vaccination efforts, science and reason demand that they must also extend the moratorium in light of the delta variant.”