Oversight committee member questions Treasury Department’s approval of $700M loan to shipping firm

Greg Nash

Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sounded the alarm Friday over his concerns regarding the Treasury and Defense departments’ ability to make loans during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hill on a call with reporters specifically singled out a $700 million loan given by the Pentagon to YRC Worldwide under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, according to Bloomberg. The Defense Department had labeled the shipping firm a critical company.

“To say that this process was hidden behind the wall of intense interagency bureaucracy would be an understatement,” Hill said. “I don’t find a rationale for YRC to be essential to national security. I have heard nothing that changes my view on that.”

The funds that YRC Worldwide received were given under a program instituted by the CARES Act to boost companies considered critical to national security. The Oversight panel has voiced concerns that the shipping company, which ships materials to and from military bases, does not make the cut.

YRC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Hill specifically said he believed that there are more viable companies that can do the work YRC does and that he thought the Pentagon violated its own guidance by giving the firm the loan. 

“The answer is overwhelmingly yes,” Hill said. “There are more stable, more available union and non-union carriers.” 

Hill said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should have been responsible for determining if YRC should have received the funds, though Mnuchin said last month that he was under the impression the Pentagon was responsible for that oversight.

Tags CARES Act French Hill Steven Mnuchin

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