Lee and Toomey Issue Statement Regarding an Additional Round of Taxpayer-Funded Grants for Airlines

October 8, 2020

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) issued the following statement detailing their concerns regarding another round of taxpayer-funded grants for the passenger airline companies:

“For the past six months, the American taxpayers have spent $25 billion covering the payroll obligations of passenger airlines. No other Fortune 500 companies – including restaurant groups, transportation firms, hotel chains, or entertainment businesses – have received taxpayer-funded grants. The excess capacity of the airline sector will not be resolved in the near future and continuing to force the entire payroll obligation onto the taxpayers is not sustainable.

“No one wants to see layoffs, but we have a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer resources are used in an appropriate and equitable manner. Rather than collect another round of grant funding, airlines should start (or in some cases continue to) take advantage of the low-interest, long-term loans from the federal government under the CARES Act. The favorable terms of these loans will make it possible for the airlines to repay the taxpayers once air travel picks back up.

“Consideration of legislation providing grants to the airlines should not happen unless there are adequate protections for taxpayers and the opportunity to offer related amendments.”