Tim Burchett Wants to Hold Airlines Accountable for COVID-19 Relief Money


U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) announced this week that he will introduce the Taxpayer Accountability for Airline Relief Act.

In a press release, Burchett said this legislation will prevents airline executives from giving themselves large, unnecessary bonuses using taxpayer-funded assistance in the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

This bill prohibits executives who earned a compensation of $425,000 or more from receiving a 2020 salary that is greater than their 2019 salary, according to Burchett’s press release.

“The taxpayer dollars going to the airline industry are for the employees who can’t go to work and to help these businesses survive the pandemic. It is not for top executives, who can survive just fine by making the same amount or less than they did last year, to line their pockets,” Burchett said.

“The CARES Act was passed to make sure struggling sectors of our economy, workers and families can make it through the financial downturn caused by COVID-19. Not a dime of this taxpayer money should be used to make someone richer.”

As of last week, passenger airline traffic has fallen 90 percent compared to a year ago, Burchett’s press release said.

The CARES Act included significant financial relief for the airline industry to address the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines in the United States will receive grants and loans designed to keep their businesses afloat and pay the salaries of their employees in order to make it out of the current crisis with their workforce intact.

Rep. Burchett said he wants to ensure this money makes it to the operations of the airline companies that need it most.

As The Tennessee Star reported Wednesday, Republicans in Congress want answers after the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts furloughed its employees despite receiving $25 million from Congress through The CARES Act.

In the letter, Oversight Members expressed their concern regarding the Kennedy Center’s decision to furlough over 700 of its administrative, part-time, and hourly workers. These layoffs, whether temporary or not, are completely contrary to the spirit of the CARES Act and are very concerning to Congress, members said.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]






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