Watchdog: Clear From This Vote That “The Paycheck Protection Program Bailed Out Companies Who Didn’t Need It”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This afternoon, a handful of representatives blocked a House bill to enhance transparency in funds allocated through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The measure would have required the SBA to disclose PPP loans greater than $2 million. Many large corporations have been receiving this aid intended to help mom-and-pop shops maintain their workforce, mostly out of the public eye.
With 100,000 small businesses shuttering and more than 40 million Americans becoming newly unemployed during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as wealthy, well-connected businesses cashed in on relief funds, the House was right to try to demand greater transparency in how the Trump administration has doled out aid. Now, those corporations can continue to shirk accountability for draining aid money intended to help out real mom-and-pop businesses and their employees.
“Apparently, even basic steps toward enhancing transparency in a program that has been plagued by rampant mismanagement, abuse, and self-dealing from its start is too much to ask of Trump allies in the House. So the question remains: what are these representatives trying to hide?” asked Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.
“The only reason to keep data on public money hidden is if there’s something to hide. This vote means that as 100,000 small businesses were forced to close their doors, the Paycheck Protection Program bailed out companies who didn’t need it. For these politicians to again help out Wall Street and an administration that has badly bungled the PPP from the start, not American workers, is shameful.”
BACKGROUND: The Trump SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has been bungled since day one, offering red tape and rejection to struggling small business owners while rolling out the red carpet for large publicly-traded companies that have resources average shops do not. A shocking recent report estimates over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed since the pandemic took off in March. And a recent survey found only 12 percent of Black and Latino small business owners got the PPP loans they asked for, and nearly half say they expect to close for good in the next six months. Meanwhile, well over 600 publicly-traded firms or conflicted companies – some worth more than $100 million – have walked away with over a billion and a half dollars in taxpayer money. It’s no wonder the Trump administration has shied away from transparency in this process.