Political advocacy groups backed by billionaire conservative donor Charles Koch are calling on Congress not to provide "expansive" bailouts for industries hurt by the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
The advocacy groups also requested any response from the federal government be temporary, limited in scope and include measures to avoid making the fiscal situation worse.
“[C]ongress and the administration should reject proposals that include taxpayer-financed bailouts that go beyond the above criteria. Congress should not use this crisis to reward well-connected businesses at the expense of those most in need,” Americans for Prosperity chief government affairs officer Brent Gardner, Concerned Veterans for America Executive Director Nate Anderson and the Libre Initiative President Daniel Garza wrote to congressional leadership in a letter on Tuesday.
The White House is seeking a roughly $850 billion economic stimulus package from Congress to address the coronavirus's economic impact.
The airline industry on Monday requested a $50 billion bailout, but Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPricing methane and carbon emissions will help US meet the climate moment Democratic senator: Methane fee could be 'in jeopardy' Manchin jokes on party affiliation: 'I don't know where in the hell I belong' MORE (N.Y.), are pushing back on the request, saying the priority should be helping ordinary Americans.
But the Koch-backed groups are urging caution as Washington determines its response.
“As policymakers consider measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus and ameliorate its impacts, it is imperative that the policies put into place do not cause more problems than they solve. We are troubled by recent calls to provide expansive, taxpayer-backed industry bailouts that extend far beyond any concrete and particularized injury resulting from the coronavirus,” the CEOs wrote.
“We are equally troubled by special interest attempts to exploit the current crisis to make controversial, long-term policy changes for their own gain and with far-reaching negative implications for the American people,” they added.
Updated on March 18 at 1:24 p.m.