March 25, 2020

Crapo Leads Economic Response in Coronavirus Phase III Legislation

Encourages colleagues to take swift action to prop up American households and businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, today unveiled legislation to stabilize the U.S. economy and provide assistance to severely distressed industries, Title IV of the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  

As Banking Committee Chairman, Senator Crapo worked tirelessly on the Senate task force charged with addressing small business and market liquidity issues, and led negotiations on a provision designed to provide significant economic support to severely distressed sectors of the U.S. economy.  The provision props up the U.S. Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund with $500 billion, which the Federal Reserve can then leverage to inject approximately $4 trillion back into the marketplace in secured loans.  

“Small and large businesses are losing access to liquidity, putting them at serious risk of closing down permanently and displacing millions of workers,” said Crapo.  “If businesses go insolvent today, then the economy and the finances of U.S. citizens will suffer long after the coronavirus is contained.  We found a way to responsibly inject potentially trillions of dollars back into the market, helping businesses keep their doors open, keep their employees on the payroll and restore as much normalcy at this unprecedented time as possible.  This measure, combined with the broader CARES Act, will provide approximately $6 trillion in immediate relief to severely affected industries, helping to stabilize the economy and get Americans through this crisis.” 

The Economic Stabilization and Assistance to Severely Distressed Sectors of the U.S. Economy (Title IV of the CARES Act):

  • Provides $500 billion to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund to stabilize key national industries;     
  • Authorizes the Federal Reserve to leverage this fund and provide approximately $4 trillion in direct assistance to various industries, cities and states;
  • Protects taxpayers by establishing strict criteria for such loans, including sufficient loan security; timely program termination; no loan forgiveness; a demonstration that other credit from banks is not available; employment retention; and the Federal Government’s compensation must account appropriately for risk (among others); and
  • Includes strict oversight for large corporations, including the creation of an independent Inspector General and Congressional Oversight Panel. 

The Exchange Stabilization Fund is an account housed within the U.S. Treasury Department.  Congress is injecting this fund with $500 billion, $454 billion of which will be used for loans and guarantees to support credit facilities that will be established by the Federal Reserve.  Using its critical emergency lending authority, the Federal Reserve can leverage this money and inject many times that amount into the marketplace, unleashing upwards of $4 trillion into the economy.  These loans will provide a critical lifeline for businesses, States and municipalities that have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.  Once the coronavirus pandemic has passed, the loans must be paid back – there is no loan forgiveness.  The provision also includes strict stipulations for eligibility and strong oversight measures, ensuring that taxpayers are protected.  

A Title IV summary is available here.