Washington state lawmakers press Boeing to accept aid

Washington state lawmakers press Boeing to accept aid
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Washington state members of Congress teamed up to urge Boeing to take relief aid while the company is suspending operations due to the coronavirus pandemic devastating the industry.

Boeing requested $60 billion in financial relief in March. The coronavirus relief package Congress passed later that month included $454 billion in loans for businesses, including $17 billion for businesses critical to maintaining national security, like Boeing.

“However, we are disappointed to read reports that you are now considering forgoing the relief Boeing requested,” Washington Democratic Reps. Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenLIVE COVERAGE: House votes to name Speaker COVID-19 is wild card as Pelosi faces tricky Speaker vote Sunday Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore tests positive for COVID-19 MORE, Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE, Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerModerate Democrats press for auto-stabilizers in COVID-19 aid package House Democrat says federal workforce recovering from 'a lot of harm' under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Focus on vaccine, virus, travel MORE, Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierDemocrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Rep. Kim Schrier defends Washington House seat from GOP challenger House approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall MORE, Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Democrats snipe on policy, GOP brawls over Trump House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE, Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneHillicon Valley: Chip order inbound | Biden asks for more time on WeChat | New IoT bill introduced Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to allow for increased use of internet-connected devices New state privacy initiatives turn up heat on Congress MORE and Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday Overnight Defense: Tim Kaine moves to claw back war powers authority | Study on sexual harassment and assault in the military MORE wrote to Boeing CEO David Calhoun on Monday.

Boeing was already in a fragile state before global travel was nearly halted. The company grounded its 737 Max jets and endured setbacks to fixing and delivering KC-46 military tankers for the Pentagon.

However, Calhoun doesn’t want to accept the aid if that means the government takes an ownership stake in the company, the Seattle Times reported. Boeing plans to pay employees through Tuesday and then 30,000 employees will have to use paid time off. 

“Aviation and aerospace machinists, engineers, electricians, technicians and other line workers are the backbone of Washington state’s economy and communities across the country. We hope the Boeing Company will consider making full use of the CARES Act’s economic relief provisions to support these workers, local communities and the U.S. aviation and aerospace industry,” the members wrote. 

Boeing did not immediately respond to the Hill’s request for comment.

The aircraft maker and defense contractor suspended operations at two Washington state plants — Puget Sound and Moses Lake — until further notice to focus on safety of employees, the company announced on Sunday. 

It also temporarily suspended operations in South Carolina on Monday and operations at its facilities in Ridley Township, Pa., last week.

“Given the severe harm the nation’s aerospace industry and hardworking women and men at the Boeing company are experiencing during this pandemic, we hope you will consider utilizing the economic assistance provided by the CARES Act to safeguard thousands of jobs at Boeing in Washington state and across the country,” the members wrote. 

The lawmakers also asked Boeing to provide information on if they expect to apply for the financial assistance provided by the relief package, if they will eliminate layoffs, if they will change cleaning practices and if they will assist suppliers and industry jobs that the company supports.