Rep. Ilhan Omar, , D-Minn., unveiled legislation that would cancel rent and mortgage payments for millions of Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reports.
Under the legislation, rent and mortgage payment cancellations would be available for Americans regardless of income or employment status.
The bill would create a relief fund for landlords and mortgage holders to cover losses from the canceled payments, with no accumulation of debt and no negative impact on their credit ratings or rental histories, Omar said.
Other progressive members of the so-called “Squad” of House Democrats supported the bill, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Still, it would fly in the face of calls from some conservative lawmakers to rein in spending; Congress’ recent phase 3 stimulus bill was valued at roughly $2 trillion, according to Fox News.
“The coronavirus crisis is more than just a public health crisis—it’s an economic crisis. Minnesotans are losing jobs, getting their hours reduced and struggling just to put food on the table,” Omar said in a statement. “We must take major action to protect the health and economic security of the most vulnerable, including the millions of Americans currently at risk of housing instability and homelessness.”
She added: “Congress has a responsibility to step in to stabilize both local communities and the housing market during this time of uncertainty and crisis. In 2008, we bailed out Wall Street. This time, it’s time to bail out the American people who are suffering.”