A struggling trucking company has received a $700 million COVID-19 pandemic loan even after the Defense Department advised against it. House Democrats released a report on last Wednesday and are unhappy about how “a public health crisis” was used to justify this aid and that they will be held accountable.
Here is some key background information to help set the scene. Several Trump aides, including then White House Chief of Staff, all played a “key” role in coordinating with Yellow, the trucking company, to help secure loan funding, during the early months of the pandemic. This loan is also the largest provided to any company through the national security program. The company has had years of financial and legal troubles.
- Yellow has been reported to have received 95% of the total funds allocated through Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act national security program
- Once the Defense Department had decided and informed the Treasury Department that Yellow is not eligible and neither critical to “maintaining national security” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin set an urgent call with Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
- A week later Defense Secretary deemed Yellow critical to national security and the loan was approved
After approval for the loan, Yellow is now being investigated by the Office of Inspector General at the request of subcommittee chair James Clyburn (D-SC) to see whether or not Yellow violated federal law making dishonest claims within their loan application.