Congressional panel provides update on relief loan review


WASHINGTON – The Congressional Oversight Committee, which includes U.S. Representative French Hill, R-Ark., Continues to review a $ 700 million government loan that was made to YRC Worldwide, a trucking based in Overland Park, Kan. “Essential to maintain national security”.

While the major Covid-19 relief programs the commission is monitoring recently have been completed, the panel is still reviewing the aid that was previously approved.

A report from the commission released Thursday took stock of its work.

It included a letter, dated Monday, from the commission asking the commander of US Transportation Command, General Stephen R. Lyons, for correspondence between USTRANSCOM and Crowley Logistics, a prime contractor in the US Department of Defense.

YRC Worldwide, which lost over $ 100 million in 2019, is a subcontractor to Crowley Logistics and is responsible for managing many “less than truck” military shipments.

“The Commission has carried out extensive monitoring of YRC’s loan as it believes the loan could harm taxpayers,” the letter said.

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The Department of Defense was responsible for YRC Worldwide receiving the National Security designation.

The commission also asks for the “metrics” reported by Crowley Logistics for all of its subcontractors handling shipments less than trucks.

Among the information requested: on-time pickup and delivery data, loss and damage, and month-to-month freight prices.

The federal coronavirus relief, relief and economic security law provided the US Treasury Department with $ 500 billion for loans and other investments “to provide liquidity to eligible businesses, states and municipalities related to losses incurred following the coronavirus ”.

He also created the watchdog commission that Hill serves to oversee the use of taxpayer funds.

Up to $ 17 billion of the total amount has been targeted “for businesses essential to maintaining national security.”

In the end, only about $ 736 million of the $ 17 billion was loaned. Of this amount, $ 700 million (approximately 95%) went to YRC Worldwide.

A spokesperson for the company did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday. YRC Worldwide previously declined to comment on the commission’s work.

Hill said he would not have approved the loan had he walked through his office when he was president and CEO of Delta Trust and Banking Corp. in Little Rock.

The Treasury Department announced on July 1 that it had approved the loan. YRC Worldwide stock went from $ 1.85 per share on June 30 to $ 3.23 on July 1.

It closed at $ 5.31 on Thursday.

A report from the United States Government Accountability Office, at https://www.gao.gov/assets/720/711174.pdf, found that the Treasury Department, in approving the YRC Worldwide loan, “n did not follow the established standard process for assessing claims. . “

The Treasury Department executed the loan “almost 3 months before executing any other loan,” the report said.

At a commission hearing last month, then Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was aware YRC Worldwide would likely have gone bankrupt had it not been for federal help. .

The Treasury Department has not independently determined whether YRC Worldwide is a company “essential to maintaining national security,” Mnuchin said, indicating that he was relying on the Pentagon to make this classification.

The Congressional Oversight Committee was initially envisioned as a five-member body, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to find a president acceptable to both of them and willing to serve.

As a result, it has operated, since its inception, with four members.

One, Democrat Bharat Ramamurti, recently left the board to become deputy director of the National Economic Council.

One second, U.S. Representative Donna Shalala, D-Fla., Lost her run for Congress in November, but remains commissioner.

A third, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Has announced that he will not stand for re-election in 2022.

In addition to the YRC Worldwide loan, the supervisory board said Thursday it plans to do a “more in-depth analysis” of the airline industry’s loans as well as the Main Street Lending Program, which has provided assistance to small businesses. and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations.

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