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McHenry on Additional Coronavirus Relief “Measure Twice, Cut Once”

Washington, May 11, 2020 -

Today, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), joined Balance of Power on Bloomberg TV to discuss next steps in the coronavirus recovery effort and the importance of taking a responsible approach to ensure Congress is providing relief to those most in need.

Watch the full interview here or by clicking on the image above.

On the potential next phase of coronavirus relief:

What we don’t understand right now is the magnitude of the economic pain. We have current statistics, but we don’t know what this looks like as state by state reemergence into the normal economy... So, what I am counseling is that we measure twice and cut once. If we are going to legislate again let’s make sure that we’re hitting those and helping those that need the most assistance and doing the right thing for the long term of our country.

On additional state and local government funding:

I think you’ll have some level of state aid be a part of the next package. It’s a question of what you get in return for doing this. Do you say to the states you have to be fiscally responsible on a going forward basis? That you have to have a rainy-day fund on a going forward basis? Many of these states were in poor financial conditions before this happened and we don’t want to just prop up, propagate spending at the state level. We want to be effective so that states don’t have to declare bankruptcy.

On timing of a phase four bill:

I think we’re looking at June or July before you have the next round of spending package come out of Congress. I think that would be the responsible thing. I’ll give you one example, the university systems. Do we know if universities and colleges are going to go back in the fall? … Are you going to have states impacted based off their universities’ systems not having students on campus, and to what extent? So, let’s make sure we understand the issues that are affecting people before we try to seek to fix them.

On concerns that larger companies received PPP loans intended for small businesses:

I am always concerned about the taxpayer dollar being spent effectively and in compliance with the law. What we see here, and what the Inspector General highlighted, is that they largely did that. When you’re putting out $300 to 400 billion in a period of four weeks, there are going to be mistakes made and there were mistakes made with this program. But it was still largely effective. There are thousands of small businesses that are around today because of this assistance and there are tens of thousands of employees that are able to collect a paycheck because of the Paycheck Protection Program.

On the potential for payroll tax relief:

What I see with the unemployment rate skyrocketing, most of these folks were employed before. They want to work; they want to provide value. It is a meaningful part of their life. That payroll tax relief is about getting people back into the economy and off of unemployment insurance and back into reengaging to grow this economy back out. I think that would be a nice incentive to get people back into working and off the more generous unemployment benefits that were part of the last CARES package.

Watch Republican Leader McHenry’s full interview with Bloomberg TV.

Visit Financial Services Committee Republicans’ website for additional resources and updates on efforts to mitigate the economic impact of coronavirus on consumers.

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