Burchett announces legislation to hold airlines accountable for taxpayer-funded relief

April 7, 2020
Press Release
Taxpayer Accountability for Airline Relief Act limits executive compensation for airlines receiving financial assistance under the CARES Act

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (April 7, 2020) -- Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02) announced today he will introduce the Taxpayer Accountability for Airline Relief Act, legislation that prevents airline executives from giving themselves large, unnecessary bonuses using taxpayer-funded assistance in the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES 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.

As of last week, passenger airline traffic has fallen 90% compared to a year ago. 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 wants to ensure this money makes it to the operations of the airline companies that need it most.

“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,” said Rep. Burchett. “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.”

The full text of the Taxpayer Accountability for Airline Relief Act can be found here.