During today’s Senate Banking hearing with FRB Chairman Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, it became still more clear that Members of Congress want expansive economic aid but differ by party, state, and political philosophy on who should get it how. Sticking to generalities wherever possible, Mr. Mnuchin promised to deploy all CARES Act lending funds (see FSM Report RESCUE72) once there is a better understanding of which facilities need them. He also emphasized that Treasury is willing to risk losses on its commitments. Chairman Crapo (R-ID) pressed for quick and expansive Fed facilities, especially for rural municipalities; Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Warren (D-MA) want facilities targeted to workers with new certification requirements added to ensure corporate accountability. Facing bipartisan demands for facility expansion, Mr. Powell committed to adjusting the Main Street Lending Program if participation is low and reviewing the Municipal Liquidity Facility to ensure broader access in rural states.
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