Bailout Already Has Low Standards, Lobbyists Pushing To Include Companies With Low Credit Ratings Too
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Politico reports that Washington lobbyists are pressuring the Treasury Department to make sure companies with poor credit ratings predating the crisis – such as major retailers and casino companies – are eligible to receive government assistance under the CARES Act. In addition to specific companies, the National Retail Federation and American Gaming Association (casinos) are also pushing for loose standards.
In response, Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, released the following statement:
“This crisis isn’t the solution for financially strapped industries whose problems began long before the crisis we now face. This is the type of cynical, business-as-usual activity that taxpayers hate most — lobbyists working overtime to benefit their wealthy clients. The Trump administration and Congress must make sure these precious resources are used to support American workers directly, not bondholders and creditors.”
From Politico Influence:
— Lobbyists are also working to shape the rules governing loans to larger businesses, which will determine which companies will be able to apply for loans. Companies in need of help such as Macy’s and Gap Inc. — both of which announced on Monday that they’d furlough most of their workers — have less-than-ideal credit ratings and could be excluded, as POLITICO’s Victoria Guida and I report. Russ Sullivan, a veteran tax lobbyist, said he and his colleagues at Brownstein Hyatt are trying “to persuade Treasury and the Fed, who have enormous flexibility in how to administer this program, to do it broadly” — that is, to loan to companies that might be risky bets as well as ones with impeccable credit.
— “In case where the eligibility criteria is too narrow for some of America’s best-recognized companies, we ask that your respective agencies exercise discretion to make these programs more widely available,” Matthew Shay, the president and chief executive of the National Retail Federation, wrote in a letter on Friday to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The American Gaming Association is also lobbying on the matter.