Nothing unites Congress like the arrival of August, when Democrats and Republicans collectively curse Washington’s sweltering summer heat and decamp the city for a monthlong vacation. This year lawmakers will frolic on the beach while millions of Americans face imminent eviction after the federal government’s national eviction moratorium expired last weekend.
Not all Democrats are so sanguine about the possibility of making as many 3.6 million people homeless over the next two months. Missouri Rep. Cori Bush slept on the Capitol steps Sunday night in solidarity with renters facing the boot, but the party’s biggest names have remained almost totally silent in the face of an imminent catastrophe.
Joe Biden’s promised “return to normalcy” increasingly looks like the White House staying to the side as congressional Democrats duck out of tough and necessary policy fights. In the case of rent relief, the president did nothing to help advance legislation after the Supreme Court in June shot down an attempt to end the eviction freeze in a decision where Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who cast the deciding vote, made it clear that Congress would have to act to extend the program.