Senate GOP Coronavirus Bailout Bill Has Serious Flaws, Heritage Warns
On Wednesday, Senate Republicans unveiled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which would be the third major piece of legislation to help Americans amid the coronavirus crisis. The Heritage Foundation analyzed this byzantine labyrinth of proposals and raised important alarms about many provisions while acknowledging the bill's many positive reforms.
American businesses are struggling due to the coronavirus, and the Heritage Foundation report published Friday admits that the government should provide some aid — since the government encouraged Americans toward social isolation and against supporting many businesses. Yet "any policy response by Congress to address the adverse economic consequences of the coronavirus epidemic should be targeted, temporary, and directed at aiding public health efforts." Sadly, the CARES Act is ripe for abuse.
The bill includes $208 billion in loans and loan guarantees for passenger air carriers ($50 billion), cargo air carriers ($8 billion), and other businesses ($150 billion). "Overnight, the bill would make the U.S. Treasury Department one of the largest investment banks in the country authorized to make loans to, guarantee loans to, and take equity positions in businesses of all types," the report explains.