Our bills are due on May 1 — where is Congress?
Up to now, much of the financial relief from the federal government has been funneled through employers instead of directly to residents to meet their material costs. Even the direct aid, such as stimulus checks issued through the Internal Revenue Service or a boost to unemployment benefits, is delayed weeks or months for people who don’t have bank accounts or can’t get through swamped or deliberately hobbled unemployment agencies. As a result, millions of workers either missed out or were left out.
The next round of stimulus relief must include clear protections for households recuperating from the economic damage of this pandemic, including a nationwide moratorium on rent and mortgage payments and an end to utility shutoffs, including for the undocumented.