Trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. has drawn down just over one-third of a promised $700 million loan in coronavirus-relief funds as it prepares a spending plan that will require U.S. government approval for more aid.
The cash infusion comes as a bipartisan congressional panel is raising questions about the Treasury Department’s decision to lend the money to YRC as a company critical to national security. One of the largest trucking companies in the U.S., the Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier has struggled financially for years and was trying to turn the business around when the coronavirus pandemic sparked what Treasury has called “a liquidity crisis.”
The Congressional Oversight Commission has questioned the national-security designation of YRC and pressed Treasury on whether the loan was appropriate given the company’s financial difficulties before the pandemic.
Treasury said it made the national-security decision based on a recommendation and guidance from the defense secretary. YRC carries 68% of the Defense Department’s less-than-truckload shipments, in which cargo from multiple shippers is combined in a single trailer, and it is the leading transportation provider to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Treasury said in a Sept. 4 letter included in the most recent commission report.
This article originally appeared on The Wall Street Journal