Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program

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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Three arrested in Twitter hack | Trump pushes to break up TikTok | House approves 0M for election security Wisconsin Republicans raise questions about death of Black Trump supporter Trump holds mini-rally at Florida airport MORE pressed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will ban TikTok from operating in the US Trump’s 2019 financial disclosure reveals revenue at Mar-a-Lago, other major clubs Treasury to conduct policy review of tax-exempt status for universities after Trump tweets MORE and Congress to enact an emergency housing package after ramped up unemployment benefits and an eviction moratorium that have expired.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic 2020 nominee, also hammered Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: 15-20 GOP senators will not vote for any coronavirus deal McConnell: Dropping liability protections from coronavirus deal ‘not going to happen’ Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility MORE (R-Ky.) for allowing the Senate to head home despite ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill for the next coronavirus relief package. Progress on the negotiations has been slow amid disagreements on a list of issues, including the level of federal unemployment benefits. 

“Today is the first day of another month where rent and mortgage payments are due for millions of Americans who are already living on the edge. It comes a day after President Trump and Leader McConnell sent the Senate home for the weekend and allowed enhanced unemployment insurance, which millions of families have been using to pay their rent and bills, to lapse,” Biden said.

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“Because Donald Trump is abdicating his responsibility to lead us out of the pandemic crisis and the economic crisis, we now face a potential housing crisis across the country,” he added. “To prevent a catastrophic rise in evictions and homelessness, President Trump must work with Congress to act swiftly and enact a broad emergency housing support program for renters, just as we would in the aftermath of a natural disaster.” 

Biden’s statement comes on the first day of August, when rent is due and families find themselves facing new financial hurdles in light of the expiration of the unemployment benefits Friday and the eviction moratorium on July 24.

Biden said Congress should “provide emergency unemployment benefits, greater access to food and nutrition programs, and full subsidies to allow families to keep their health insurance,” adding that doing so could “put the nation in a much stronger position to handle the strain the virus is putting on millions of Americans and our entire economy.”

The statement comes as Republicans and Democrats in Washington clash over the details of the next coronavirus relief package. President Trump and Republicans have suggested a short term deal addressing only unemployment and evictions, but Democrats have maintained they want one big package to address the pandemic.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock | Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks | Coronavirus recession hits Social Security, Medicare, highway funding Pelosi: Trump trying ‘to suppress the vote’ with attacks on mail-in ballots Pelosi defends cannabis in coronavirus response: ‘This is a therapy’ MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSenators press Postal Service over complaints of slow delivery Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks Lincoln Project targets Senate races in Alaska, Maine, Montana with M ad buy MORE (D-N.Y.) met Saturday morning with White House Chief of Staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMcConnell: Dropping liability protections from coronavirus deal ‘not going to happen’ On The Money: Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock | Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks | Coronavirus recession hits Social Security, Medicare, highway funding Pelosi defends cannabis in coronavirus response: ‘This is a therapy’ MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTreasury to conduct policy review of tax-exempt status for universities after Trump tweets McConnell: Dropping liability protections from coronavirus deal ‘not going to happen’ Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility MORE in what participants said was the most productive meeting yet.

“We’re not close yet, but it was a productive discussion. Now each side knows where they’re at,” Schumer told reporters after the meeting. 

Mnuchin added that the meeting, which lasted over three hours, was the “most productive we’ve had to date.”