Report: House Democrats Let Eviction Moratorium Expire After Receiving Millions From Real Estate Lobby

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press confernece.
Gettyimages | Chip Somodevilla
US Politics

Millions of Americans will be kicked out of their homes soon, unless the government intervenes and fully extends the eviction moratorium that was put in place by the Trump administration last September.

According to a new report, House Democrats -- who have not committed to extending the moratorium, despite pleas from left-leaning activists -- have received millions from big real estate, which stands to benefit from their inaction.

The Democratic Party has a governing trifecta, since it controls both chambers of Congress and the White House.

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George Marcus, chairman of the real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap and the real estate investment trust Essex Property Trust, has donated $1 million to House Majority PAC, according to The Daily Poster.

Marcus, who has a net worth of $1.7 billion, also donated $263,400 in June to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s campaign, and her leadership PAC.

During the 2020 election cycle, the real estate mogul donated $1 million to the DCCC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. On top of that, he contributed millions to Democratic super PACs and to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign.

Who Is George Marcus?

Marcus' Marcus & Millichap is the largest commercial real estate brokerage in North America. The other company he is the chairman of, Essex Property Trust, had an ownership interest in 60,272 apartment units in the states of Washington and California.

Essex Property Trust CEO Michael Schall recently said he expects the company's delinquency rates to "return to normal levels over time, as more workers enter the workforce and eviction protections lapse on September 30 in both California and Washington."

Other powerful special interests stand to gain from Democrats' decision to let the eviction ban expire.

Lobbyists, Corporate Interests

Executives from the Blackstone Group -- which recently bought Home Partners of America, which owns more than 17,000 homes -- donated in the 2020 election cycle millions combined to Democratic-aligned super PACs.

Similarly, real estate lobbyists have showered Democratic politicians with cash.

According to Sara Myklebust, Bargaining for the Common Good research director at Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, this is "not shocking, because we have seen this pattern again and again."

"You certainly see a pattern of landlords having close relationships as a result of money and influence, and that can affect the way lawmakers see these issues, the questions they ask, and the timelines on which they are willing to take action or not."

Biden Steps In

President Joe Biden holds a press conference.
Gettyimages | Alex Wong

In July, the Supreme Court said it would allow the moratorium to continue as planned, but Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his opinion that any extension would require congressional action, as reported by The New York Times.

Congress has failed to act, however.

Late Tuesday, as NPR reported, the Biden administration stepped in, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing a new, more limited eviction ban.

The ban only covers areas experiencing "substantial" and "high" spread of COVID-19 and will remain in effect through October 3.