Trump bails out Big Oil Main Street Lending Program. Twitter implodes.

Trump bails out Big Oil with ‘Main Street Lending Program’ funds. Twitter implodes.

Man standing in a mechanic shop

Unsplash / Alev Takil

The Main Street Lending Program was supposed to help small- and medium-sized businesses that were devastated by the coronavirus. But the Trump administration and the Federal Reserve hijacked the program, steering the money to fossil fuel companies and big banks.

In response, four members of a bipartisan oversight committee issued a 17-page report demanding answers to how the money is being spent and why so little is going where it’s needed most, according to USA Today.

The report, written by two GOP lawmakers, Rep. French Hill and Sen. Pat Toomey; Democrat Rep. Donna Shalala; and former Elizabeth Warren aide Bharat Ramamurti, has created a firestorm on Twitter.

Big oil ‘money grab’

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Wikipedia

After Congress passed the law, Republican lawmakers persuaded the Fed to change the loans in ways that amount to a ‘money grab’ for big oil, writes Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope in a Bloomberg opinion piece.

“Funneling taxpayer funds to failing companies in a declining industry that wreaks trillions of dollars in damage on the environment is not an easily justified investment.

Trump’s changes divert ‘Main Street’ money to big banks

Exterior photo of JP Morgan Chase bank

Flickr / Ben Sutherland

In the real world, Main Street is lined with barber shops, hardware stores, the post office, and other local businesses. But in Trumpland, Main Street means big banks and oil refineries, who are now allowed to receive loans through a program designed to help much smaller businesses.

Administration to workers: You’re on your own

A woman in a hardhat working on a piece of machinery

Canva

Congressional Democrats included provisions that restricted layoffs and protected workers, but Pro Publica writes that the administration stripped those provisions from the law, meaning unemployment rates could skyrocket:

“There is essentially nothing stopping companies that take the loans from laying off more workers.”

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