March 30, 2020

Warren Urges Mnuchin to Use Massive Bailout Fund in Coronavirus Rescue Bill to Help States and Municipalities Before Giant Corporations

CARES Act Creates $454 Billion Loan Fund for Businesses, States, and Municipalities

Sen. Warren Fought for Accountability Measures for Corporate Bailouts

"Before you begin the process of bailing out big corporations, I urge you to establish programs to provide aid to hard-hit states and municipalities so that they can begin providing additional assistance to Americans who need it."

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter calling on Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to use his new authority under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to fully meet the needs of state and local governments before using any taxpayer dollars to bail out large companies.

"State and local governments and the citizens they serve have urgent needs, and unlike large corporations -- which will not be required to use the bailout money to preserve jobs and protect salaries and benefits -- have not spent the last decade buying back their stock, paying their CEO's outrageous salaries and bonuses, or creating new ways to evade U.S. taxes," the senator wrote in her letter.

State and local governments face stunning budget gaps due to the coronavirus outbreak and its implications for the U.S. economy. Meeting these needs is a matter of life and death as the coronavirus pandemic escalates nationwide. In Massachusetts, the state could face a revenue shortfall of $3 billion, and will have to spend millions more to equip hospitals and address shortages of ventilators, respirators, personal protective equipment, and other costs related to the pandemic. The extended tax deadline will also cause additional budget shortfalls as states have to wait months longer for tax payments that would normally be received in April.

The $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES legislation is designed specifically to help states, territories, and tribes address the costs of the pandemic. While these new funds, including $2.7 billion for Massachusetts, will provide some immediate relief, it will not be nearly enough to prevent cascading state and local government layoffs and cuts to critical public services.

In her letter, Senator Warren urged Secretary Mnuchin to prioritize assistance for state and local governments before giant corporations, noting that the new CARES Act provides at least $454 billion, available immediately, "to provide liquidity to eligible businesses, states, and municipalities related to losses incurred as a result of coronavirus."

"Communities in Massachusetts and nationwide are deeply in need; they can put the money to use immediately to address the coronavirus pandemic and other community needs as a result of the ongoing catastrophic economic disruption," the senator continued. "Before you begin the process of bailing out big corporations, I urge you to establish programs to provide aid to hard-hit states and municipalities so that they can being providing additional assistance to Americans who need it."

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Senator Warren has pressed the Trump Administration to respond effectively to deliver the robust set of resources needed to address this emergency. She recently unveiled detailed plans to increase diagnostic testing nationwide, and sounded the alarm alongside Senator Markey over the Trump Administration's failure to deliver federal support for testing and care in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, she put out a plan for getting relief directly to workers, families, and small businesses, and has fought to prioritize federal aid for keeping workers on payroll and helping hospitals, states and localities respond to the crisis -- before bailing out giant corporations.