Warren presses Mnuchin on penalties for not protecting jobs Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin why some businesses that are getting federal funding are not required to keep their ...
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin why some businesses that are getting federal funding are not required to keep their workers employed. Congress gave Treasury the authority to dole out $500 billion to shore up mid-sized and large corporations. But unlike the Payroll Protection Program and other small-business lending facilities, which forgive loans when businesses keep employees on their payroll, Treasury did not stipulate anything about big businesses having to do the same.
The problem of course is (as Mnuchin says) that this bill was passed by the House and Senate, overwhelmingly. Meaning that Elizabeth and Bernie et al had read the bill before voting on it. So, it could appear a bit disingenuous now, for the signers, to complain about their own legislation.
I think what probably happened is that the Democrats were under such enormous pressure to pass a relief measure that, if they balked, at a time when millions of people were being laid off, it might do irreparable harm to them politically, particularly in view of the upcoming election. So, they negotiated as best they could under the circumstances. But ultimately they did pass a bill which, knowingly, gave Trump's own Secretary almost unlimited power to to dispense and allocated nearly half a trillion dollars of taxpayer money to businesses with virtually no oversight.
So, what I suppose Elizabeth is trying to do is now, (after the fact), is at least call attention the situation, and do her best to hold the Administration accountable for where the money goes (I know, I know: "Good luck with that...").
I think this all might come under what Naomi Klein dubbed "The Shock Doctrine", where national calamities present an opportunity for the unscrupulous to exploit them in a variety ways, to their own advantage. This "relief bill" unfortunately happens to be one of the most egregious examples of that principle in modern history.
(Article changed on May 27, 2020 at 15:17)