Republicans Want Investigation Of Planned Parenthood For PPP Loans

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WASHINGTON – Republican lawmakers are asking the Department of Justice to investigate Paycheck Protection Program Loans which went to partners of Planned Parenthood as part of the coronavirus aid.

The total of approximately $ 80 million in loans to Planned Parenthood Centers are denominated Letters received from NPR were distributed as part of the program to provide loans to small businesses suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

27 GOP Senators, including Kentucky Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr with a request to investigate the Planned Parenthood members and accuse them of knowingly applying for loans for which they were not entitled.

The program allowed small businesses with fewer than 500 employees to apply for up to $ 10 million in loans to cover expenses while they were closed due to the coronavirus. The loans can be waived if the money is used to keep their employees on their payroll.

More: Hundreds of publicly traded companies received more than $ 1 billion from the Small Business PPP Fund

A provision allowed individual franchises or locations of large companies with fewer than 500 employees to qualify for the loans, which resulted in Shake Shack and Ruths Chris Steakhouse receiving loans that they later returned. A bipartisan outcry resulted in the repayment of loans from several large or publicly traded companies.

Planned Parenthood says “independent” local health centers applied for and received the loans under the rules of the CARES Act.

“Because we’re Planned Parenthood, we looked at it very carefully, knowing that our federal government doesn’t always support us,” said Stephanie Fraim, president of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida CBS news. “So we looked at it and looked at it and looked at it. Our bankers did the same thing. We both came to the same conclusion: we clearly qualified for it.”

The Trump administration announced this week to Planned Parenthood members that, according to news reports, they have been deemed ineligible due to their association with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the national organization.

Letters from the Small Business Administration to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington and Planned Parenthood of Delaware, obtained from NPRsaid the agency had “tentatively decided” that the partners “were not eligible under applicable membership rules and size standards, consistent with the intent of Congress, and that the loan they received should be repaid”. According to the agency, 38 loans were granted.

More: House plans to vote on changes to the small business loan program to provide more flexibility

The Senators wrote that Planned Parenthood members obtained the loans “fraudulently” and were “not intended to give government funds to politicized, partisan abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

“Thank you for your work in investigating and tracking those who fraudulently stole millions of dollars in tax dollars during this pandemic,” they wrote to Barr.

Dozens of Republican Congressmen signed another letter asking the Small Business Administration to conduct their own investigation. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, called for an investigation “how these loans were given in clear violation of the applicable membership rules and whether Planned Parenthood, the banks or the staff” at the SBA knowingly against has violated the law, all appropriate legal means should be pursued. ”

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement that the coronavirus pandemic had “had a significant impact” on local health centers and that the loans helped affiliates retain staff and provide “essential, time-sensitive sexual and reproductive health care during this crisis . “

“This is a clear political attack on Planned Parenthood health centers and access to reproductive health care. It has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood’s eligibility for COVID-19 relief efforts, and it all has to do with the Trump administration’s public health crisis to advance a political agenda and its own mistakes in protecting America’s To distract the public from the spread of COVID-19, “said Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations and public order.

“This is not the time to make politics, and it is certainly not the time to restrict access to critical health care,” said Ayers.

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