Rising Star Matt Jones on the success of the CARES Act
Today’s HousingWire Daily features an interview with 2021 HousingWire Rising Star Matt Jones, who formerly served as senior counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and as senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. In this episode, Jones discusses his experience helping craft the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was the government’s response to the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:
Alcynna Lloyd: In a HousingWire HW+ article, you describe how 2020 was a year unlike any other. In fact, I pulled a quote from the article that reads: “It turned into, by far, the most consequential year of the four that I spent on the Hill. As the reports on the coronavirus started to come out in January and February of last year, it didn’t take long for the questions to start flooding in on how Congress would respond.” Can you discuss what the energy and environment felt like in Washington and when it was clear the government would have to act?
Matt Jones: Now that we’re almost a year and a half past when the virus really broke out, we forget how scary it was. Back in the beginning, when there was a run on toilet paper in every store and it seemed like if you took a breath outside you were going to contract the virus, that level of fear was gripping everyone. And on the Hill, there was a tremendous recognition that Congress had to act super quickly, or else the entire economy was going to crash, the likes of which you could compare to 2008, but possibly, in a way we’ve never seen before in terms of scale and scope. So, despite how Congress is often portrayed in the media as being trench warfare, what this crisis really spurred folks to do in those couple of days in March was to work together with a real sense of urgency. To do so, Congress checked party affiliation at the door, and really pitched in on a true bipartisan basis to put together this legislation.
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Below is the transcription of the interview. These transcriptions, powered by Speechpad, have been lightly edited and may contain small errors from reproduction: