Sharply

House report is sharply critical of Treasury’s handling of payroll program

Ultimately, the subcommittee concluded that instead of preserving jobs, the Trump administration’s implementation of the Payroll Support Program “significantly weakened the Program’s impact on job preservation.”

The subcommittee’s assessment comes in stark contrast to how the program has played out for passenger airlines, which received the bulk of the more than $25 billion that was allocated to pay front-line workers. Airline and union leaders say the program saved tens of thousands of jobs until it expired Oct. 1 and have been aggressively pushing to extend it through the end of March.

“The Payroll Support Program has supported hundreds of thousands of aviation industry jobs, kept workers employed and connected to their healthcare, and played a critical role in preserving the U.S. airline industry,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “Implementation focused first on the largest employers to help stabilize an industry in crisis and support as many jobs as possible for as long as possible. Treasury provided over 80% of the requested funds supporting over four hundred thousand jobs within 26 days of the enactment of the CARES Act.”

The subcommittee’s report also slammed contractors for laying off workers even as they sought to secure government aid.

“Documents uncovered during the Select Subcommittee’s investigation show that aviation contractors sought to avoid ‘unnecessary costs’ by terminating employees before executing [Payroll Support Program] agreements,” the report said.

The report found that aviation contractors laid off or furloughed nearly 58,000 employees before applying for assistance through the Payroll Support Program, 17 times the number reported by passenger carriers. At least 16,655 employees were laid off or furloughed between when the application period opened and when companies finalized their agreement with the Treasury Department.

The subcommittee said briefings with Treasury officials and contractors as well as its review of tens of thousands of

White House to Sharply Limit Access to Trump After His Return

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after three days of treatment for Covid-19 at a military hospital, and officials plan to significantly restrict physical access to him as he continues his recovery.

“The White House is taking every precaution necessary to protect not only him and the first family, but every staff member working on the complex,” spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement Monday night. He said that anyone who comes close to Trump would wear personal protective equipment.

Trump only said “thank you very much” to those gathered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before boarding the presidential helicopter for his return flight to the White House. Back at the residence, he walked up the South Portico stairs to the balcony, where he removed his mask, flashed thumbs-up with both hands and saluted for several seconds.

He did not appear to put his mask back on before walking into the residence. The show of defiance toward both the virus and public health measures to combat its spread was in keeping with the president’s tone earlier when he announced he would leave the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital.

In a video released shortly afterward, Trump said of the virus: “Don’t let it dominate you.”

“I knew there’s danger to it. But I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. I know there’s a risk. I know there’s a danger. But that’s O.K. And now I’m better. Maybe I’m immune, I don’t know,” he said.

“Get out there, be careful,” Trump added. “The vaccines are coming momentarily.”

The president has received medical care unavailable to most people, including three powerful medicines and an airlift to and from the hospital. The virus