Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Urges Mnuchin to Release $175B+ in Relief Loans that Congress Approved
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, in a Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to prevent a portion of the over $450 billion in federal relief loans that Congress already authorized as part of the CARES Act from returning to the Treasury. The period to distribute these loans currently sunsets on December 31, and the Trump administration is proposing to return hundreds of billions of dollars to the Treasury rather than distributing it to small businesses and state governments in severe financial distress due to COVID-19. The full video of her questioning is available here.
The CARES Act allowed the Treasury to establish a $500 billion emergency lending program for certain industries and to state governments. Of the $500 billion, the Treasury can make at least $454 billion available to support Federal Reserve lending facilities, which make loans to small businesses and states in distress. This provision sunsets on December 31, 2020, at which time any money not provided to Federal Reserve lending facilities must be returned to the Treasury. As of November 19, Secretary Mnuchin indicated to Congress that he expected to return $175 billion in relief loans to the Treasury, even as unemployment remains high and COVID-19 surges. Today’s hearing was conducted in adherence with the CARES Act, which requires Secretary Mnuchin and Chairman Powell to come before the Financial Services Committee quarterly.