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GOP Sen. Toomey Praises End to Fed’s CARES Lending

The late agreements to end the Federal Reserve’s lending programs under the CARES Act drew praise from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., on Sunday.

“These programs were never intended to hang around indefinitely,” Toomey told reporters, per The Hill. “This was never intended to constrain the Fed’s 13(3) lending programs as a general matter.

“These facilities were put in place for a specific purpose. The purpose was to restore the normal functioning of the private lending and capital markets, not as a general all-purpose salve, fix-all for the economy.”

Toomey would be the Senate Banking Committee chairman if Republicans win the 2021 Senate majority in the Jan. 5 Georgia runoffs. He negotiated late Saturday night with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., according to the report, to close four Fed credit lending facilities funded by the CARES Act: the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Main Street Lending Program and the Municipal Credit Facility.

The deal also unlocks $429 billion of unused CARES Act funds, keeps those four programs above closed, and bans future similar programs.

“I’m very, very pleased with that: Those were the four goals,” Toomey said, per the report. “Those were the only goals, and we achieved every one of those goals.”

Democrats have argued the closing of those programs was a Republican effort to hamstring the Joe Biden administration, but Toomey rejected that as a “wild mischaracterizations of the Republican position.”

Toomey, a fiscal conservative, now can back the $1 billion coronavirus stimulus package, he said, per The Hill.

“That’s a fair question, given my history: The answer is yes,” Toomey said. “Despite the significant reservations I have about some particular features, I think the good outweighs the bad, and it is my intention at this point to vote for it.”

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