- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Treasury Department has not yet doled out any of the $46 billion that was set aside for airlines and businesses deemed critical to national security that was part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package Congress passed in March, according to a report released on Monday.

The bill, known as the CARES Act, set aside $500 billion for Treasury to lend to businesses and state and local governments.

Of that money, up to $25 billion was set aside for passenger air carriers and other eligible businesses, up to $4 billion was for cargo air carries, and up to $17 billion was available for businesses “critical to maintaining national security.”

Any unused money out of that tranche can be used to support emergency lending facilities established by the Federal Reserve.

“The Treasury has not disbursed any of the $46 billion it can use to provide loans and loan guarantees to the airline industry and businesses critical to maintaining national security,” said the initial report from the Congressional Oversight Commission, which was established to oversee the stimulus funding.

The report said Treasury has issued some grants and loans to airlines through another section of the CARES Act.

The report also asks when the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve expect a new “Main Street Lending Program” that the Fed announced in recent weeks to start operating.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell are scheduled to be on Capitol Hill to testify on Tuesday.

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