Statement of Henry M. Paulson, Jr., on Passage of CARES Act

The world is facing a health and economic crisis unlike any in our history, which demonstrates how interconnected we are with the rest of the world.

As Americans, we should be reassured by the way the Trump Administration and Democrat and Republican members of Congress came together with lightning speed to enact the CARES Act. This legislation is truly comprehensive and powerful, providing significant funding to hospitals and medical providers across the country who are on the front lines of this battle, significant economic relief to the most vulnerable Americans, and expansive and necessary fiscal authorities to Secretary Mnuchin as Treasury and The Federal Reserve work to mitigate the impact of the economic shutdown.

I offer a huge thanks to Secretary Mnuchin, Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer, and many others who have gone a long way to restore America’s faith that our leaders in Washington, D.C. can come together to meet this crisis as we have done over the course of our history.

But we have a very difficult road ahead. One clear lesson from 2008 is that it is very difficult to quickly get all the money where it is most needed, and Treasury has a lot of money, so Treasury and the Fed have a very big job ahead of them. Another lesson is that when there is a big messy challenge, there is never a perfect, elegant solution. Treasury will need to be nimble, flexible, and resourceful. But even if they are, it will be impossible to use the CARES Act authorities in a way that everyone believes is fair and quick enough. So, Secretary Mnuchin, Chairman Powell, and their colleagues throughout the administration need our support and understanding as they fight to minimize the economic harm to the American people. In the end, this will largely be a function of how quickly business can resume to something close to normal activity as we get back to work in more industries and in more parts of America. And that will be determined by the ability to make substantial progress in containing the virus and the ability of our government to give our front-line hospitals and healthcare providers the resources they so urgently need. This is truly a war for the health and economic future of Americans, and we need to continue to act accordingly.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Claire Buchan Parker

Kristin Gomez