WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James made the following statement on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:
As a nation, we are facing a genuine crisis that threatens the lives and livelihoods of many of us. Like everyone, we are deeply concerned for our families, our neighbors, our friends, and the businesses we depend on. We also are concerned by many of the provisions in the CARES Act.
Legislation to keep workers connected to employers, provide stability for businesses caught in this uncertainty, and mitigate the overall economic effects of this crisis is necessary. To best accomplish these goals, legislation must be targeted, temporary, and directed exclusively at the coronavirus. This bill does not pass those tests.
Generous bailouts for businesses and extremely broad federal assistance programs won’t best help those hit hardest or get our economy back up and running when the time comes. They’ll do what Washington programs often do: hurt the American people through unintended consequences while enriching a select few.
Of course, we are encouraged to see certain improvements made in the legislation, especially a number of sound tax provisions and a significant waiver of federal education mandates. Heritage’s policy experts have outlined a number of proposals that would do more to help Americans suffering from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
For a more detailed Heritage Foundation analysis, which was written in response to the initial draft of this legislation, see “Senate’s Coronavirus Bill: Bailouts, Missed Opportunities, and Positive Reforms.”