$500 billion corporate relief program will include inspector general, oversight board

A $500 billion corporate assistance program for distressed industries proposed in the $2 trillion Senate coronavirus stimulus bill will include an inspector general and oversight committee, according to a senior administration official.

The inspector general for what Democrats initially bashed as a corporate “slush fund” will be confirmed by the Senate, just like any inspector general, according to the official.

The oversight proposal is similar to the guardrails created for the Troubled Asset Relief Program during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

The Senate bill will provide about $500 billion to the Treasury Department to provide a capital buffer for the Federal Reserve to extend more than $4 trillion in credit to industries facing a liquidity shortage because of a loss of business related to the coronavirus crisis. 

The Treasury secretary will also be required to testify about transactions to provide stability to the credit markets, the senior official said. 

Relief for troubled industries has been a sticking point in negotiations over the bill, with Democrats saying Republicans were prioritizing business interests over those of the American people without ensuring corporations used the money to benefit workers. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Monday accused Senate Republicans of proposing “a $500 billion slush fund for corporations, with almost no conditions.” 

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus relief economy Joe Biden

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