WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US – first reported by Business Insider — found the private jet industry has accessed up to $666 million in aid via the CARES Act between the Payroll Support Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Additionally, at least 26 private jet companies have been given access to all three programs, taking up to $65.75 million in federal COVID stimulus funds between them at a time demand for private jets is soaring. Meanwhile, thousands of struggling small businesses were unable to access a single dollar from PPP, especially in communities of color, and President Trump’s Senate allies allowed to enhanced unemployment benefits to expire last month for tens of millions of workers.
“The Trump administration’s priorities are hurting those who need help the most and helping the already wealthy and well-connected,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US which has been tracking CARES Act spending as part of its www.COVIDBailoutTracker.com project. “They have abandoned struggling small businesses and slashed aid for workers while allowing the booming private jet industry – including many Trump donors — to triple-dip in taxpayer money.”
The three pots of pandemic relief flowed to private jet companies following a flurry of high-expense lobbying during the first half of 2020. Two aviation industry groups alone spent over $1 million lobbying for pandemic aid. Additionally, executives from private jet companies have contributed over $180,000 to Trump’s campaign. This includes a $50,000 contribution from Greg Arnold, the CEO of the Truman Arnold Companies, a day before his business got a $2.7 million bailout from Trump’s Treasury Department. And now President Trump is promising even more aid to their industry.