Washington D.C. (March 22, 2020) — Provisions in the latest draft of the Senate’s COVID-19 stimulus package appears to allow the Trump administration to wait up to six months before informing the public which businesses received taxpayer dollars as loans and grants. And for some loans, disclosure may wait up to nine months.
Section 4017 of the draft bill would allow for a six month delay in reporting if the administration deems it “necessary and appropriate to promote the stability of United States financial markets or the safety and soundness of eligible businesses, States, and municipalities.” For loans not covered by the six month delay, the only requirement [4017(b)(2)] appears to be a report on outstanding loans “not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act.”
As a point of reference, the 2008 TARP bill required public reporting to begin 60 days after the first action was taken under the law and to continue every 30 days after that.
Allied Progress Director Derek Martin released the following statement in response:
“If the Trump administration was putting American workers first in its COVID-19 relief bill, there’s no doubt they’d be proudly shouting it to the public. So why isn’t the administration being transparent about who will benefit from this stimulus package? Even a six month delay on reporting requirements could mean Americans don’t find out which companies got a government bailout until late November. If the administration is leaving workers behind to quietly help out corporate executives, the public deserves to know immediately.”