U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is pushing to include language in the emerging COVID-19 relief bill that would terminate an emergency lending program run by the Federal Reserve by year’s end, a move that critics say will limit the incoming Biden administration’s ability to address the nation’s economic woes, according to a published report.
The Washington Post reports that the issue is holding progress on relief talks. The program was created in the CARES Act in March.
Toomey told journalists that his language would “end these programs exactly as the statute intended to do and it would preclude the replication of them. So you wouldn’t be able to just create a carbon copy and call it a new one, and call it a different thing,” the Post reported.
The program was intended to assist struggling small businesses, municipal governments and credit markets. According to the Post, Toomey has argued that the programs were supposed to be short-lived. The Pennsylvania Republican has said the issue is a “bright red line” for him in talks, the newspaper reported.
“Democrats have disagreed with [Toomey’s] stance and said their reading of the law says the facilities can remain active until 2026,” the Post reported Thursday. “They have said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s moves to end the program are designed to tie the hands of Janet Yellen, the choice of President-elect Joe Biden to lead the Treasury. — Laura Litvan and Laura Davison.”