WASHINGTON—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) is facing an uprising from the progressive wing of the Democratic caucus, which is pushing her to call the House back into session during its August recess to hold a vote on legislation protecting renters after a federal eviction moratorium expired.
In the narrowly divided House last week, Democrats lacked the votes from within their own conference to pass an extension through December, and they were blocked by Republicans from attempting to get around their internal divisions by passing a shorter-term extension through Oct. 18 under a procedure called unanimous consent.
The pressure campaign from Democratic progressives intensified Friday night, when Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.) began sleeping on the steps of the Capitol in order to call attention to the plight of renters who have lost eviction protections. Over the weekend, other Democrats joined her, while a steady stream of activists and supporters came to the Capitol to urge her on. Ms. Bush, who was once homeless and said she has been receiving calls from worried tenants, has vowed to remain until Congress fixes the problem.
“Something has to happen,” Ms. Bush said in a Sunday interview. “If we get a moratorium, then great, then we’re done. But right now, because we haven’t gotten it, I’m still here. And until we get it, I’m thinking that we probably want to just be here.”
“The House should reconvene and call this vote and extend the moratorium,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on CNN Sunday.