Conservatives Split On Stock Buyback And Executive Compensation Limits In Coronavirus Relief Bill

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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As the House and Senate are working on passing a coronavirus relief bill, many are discussing what exactly should be included in the legislation, such as stock buybacks and CEO payouts.

The Daily Caller asked a number of members of Congress and business owners if they support limiting stock buybacks and CEO payouts in the coronavirus stimulus bill, most responded by saying that both should be limited or not included in the bill. This all comes as a Senate GOP aide told the Daily Caller that the White House has been pushing to limit stock buybacks for companies that receive funds from the phase three package.

“Yes on buybacks. They are useless. And for CEO bonuses, no severance at all, but for retaining CEO’s or new CEO’s any bonus given, the exact same proportional bonus must be given to all employees. If a CEO makes 1 million and gets 1 million in option reproving, warrants, stock, whatever then EVERY employee must be given the same equal to 100 percent of their own salary,” American entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban told the Daily Caller.

Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines told the Daily Caller that he supports putting restrictions on stock buybacks and CEO payouts.

“I support placing restrictions on stock buybacks, executive compensation, and bonuses for companies who receive federal loan money. We need to assist these industries who are through no fault of their own facing extreme hardship, but there should be strings attached to these loans,” Daines said.

Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee told the Daily Caller that now is not the time to be focusing on these issues, as many continue to die from coronavirus and as the economy continues to take a hit.

“The federal government’s response to the Coronavirus should be focused on minimizing the social and economic disruption this emergency is creating. This is not the time for micromanaging corporate business plans,” Lee said.

Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute told the Daily Caller said she believes in limiting both stock buybacks and CEO payouts, saying companies should not be using taxpayer money to get rich.

“Yes, from my point of view, they should. These corporations shouldn’t be using taxpayer loans to enrich themselves (through bonuses or buybacks that raise the share price). Congress is offering to support these industries because they are huge employers. They should be using this money to keep people employed. This is vastly different than the woke strings that Dems want to attach to corporations. This is about accountability for taxpayer funds,” Bovard said.

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“The coronavirus crisis is not the financial crisis. Airlines that have lost all their business are not Wells Fargo or AIG. They didn’t do anything nefarious. They are simply the collateral damage of quarantines our government has deemed necessary, along with thousands of other businesses. It may have made sense to force tons of conditions on the companies we bailed out during the financial crisis, because they arguably shared some responsibility. This crisis is different. The relief to businesses is at best compensation for the costs they’re incurring from an economy-wide shut down,” Samuel Hammond, the Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy at the Niskanen Center told the Daily Caller.

“That doesn’t mean there should be no conditions at all. Businesses that receive federal loan should have to maintain their payroll and benefits, because that’s the whole point. It makes sense to limit their use of share buybacks, since buybacks only make sense when a company has excess cash flow. It makes sense to limit executive compensation, since bonuses shouldn’t happen when you’re on the verge of bankruptcy. What doesn’t make sense is insisting these stipulations be made permanent to remain in effect long after the crisis ends and the loans are paid back. That’s when these requirements go from common sense to partisan politics,” Hammond continued.

The Senate again failed to pass a procedural cloture vote Monday on a phase-three coronavirus stimulus bill as there has been continued internal dispute between both parties. (RELATED: Senate Again Fails To Pass Cloture Vote On Coronavirus Stimulus Bill)

The vote was 49-46. Republicans needed 60 yes votes to pass the vote. On Sunday night the Senate tried to pass a cloture vote but failed 47-47 as no Democrats would jump on board. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday that the bill would include $75 billion for hospitals and that two-thirds of all new money in the bill would go to states, however, this vote will likely end consideration of this bill.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Monday introduced a massive coronavirus bill with a number of provisions completely unrelated to the crisis. (RELATED: Pelosi’s Coronavirus Bill Pushes Provisions Unrelated To The Crisis)

Pelosi’s coronavirus bill is 1,119 pages and contains provisions including, “conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections,” bailing out the postal service, requiring early voting, same-day voter registration, requiring the airlines to fully offset their carbon emissions, gives you chance to look up greenhouse gas emissions from the flights you want to take, and much more that have nothing to do with helping solve the crisis at hand.

No Democrats contacted by the Daily Caller would answer questions in regards to stock buybacks and CEO payouts.