However, it is not clear if the company would actually take the money.
The aerospace giant is among the companies that would qualify for the state-backed loans reserved “for companies that are critical to maintaining national security”, and the only thing that has made it clear is that they need help.
The company is intricately linked to both the US government and the nation’s economy. It is the country’s largest exporter, is a major government contractor and consistently ranks among the top ten companies lobbying federal officials, with millions spent annually. The company has also been scrutinized by lawmakers and the Federal Aviation Administration after two fatal 737 MAX crashes killed 346 people and internal documents showed the company mocked and diminished its regulators.
Boeing said in a statement shortly after the Senate approved the stimulus package that the company’s “top priority is to protect our staff and support our extensive supply chain and [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] The Act will help provide adequate measures to help manage the pandemic. “
The company also said it was “outgoing salary for our CEO and Chairman of the Board, to suspend our dividend for the time being and extend our existing pause for any share repurchases until further notice.”
Boeing said last week that “at least $ 60 billion” in public and private loans is necessary “to deal with the pressure on the aviation sector and the economy as a whole.” It said it would share “a lot of all liquidity support for Boeing” with its huge network of suppliers.
Then, on Tuesday, CEO David Calhoun proposed that the company refuse federal support if it meant that U.S. taxpayers would essentially become shareholders in the company. That method was used to support banks and automakers during the recession in 2008 – and the government eventually sold its share later for billions of dollars in profits.
“I have no need for a stake,” Calhoun said in an interview on Fox Business. If the government demands a stake in the company in exchange for loan guarantees, he said the company “should just look at all other options, and there are plenty of them.”
“If you attach too many things to it, you obviously take a different course,” he said.
Boeing did not respond to a request for comment from CNN on Wednesday night.
Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, told reporters during a call on Wednesday that the $ 17 billion funding “is not meant to be exclusive to Boeing” and that “there are very many companies that could qualify for it.”
“You shouldn’t think of it as a Boeing award,” he said.
This story has been updated to include a statement from Boeing.
Haley Byrd and Kate Trafecante contributed to this story.