EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Rand Paul and a gaggle of Republican senators are demanding Lawyer Common Merrick Garland and officers from the Small Enterprise Administration (SBA) open investigations into what they name the “illegal participation” of Deliberate Parenthood associates within the Paycheck Safety Program (PPP), Fox Information has discovered.
Fox Information solely obtained letters that Paul, R-Ky., the highest Republican on the Senate Small Enterprise Committee, despatched to Garland, SBA Inspector Common Mike Ware and SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman, calling for his or her “instant consideration” to the matter, claiming that the Deliberate Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) utilized for PPP loans with “full information of their ineligibility” to obtain the funds.
“We write to request your instant consideration to the illegal participation of the Deliberate Parenthood Federation of America within the Paycheck Safety Program,” Paul, together with GOP Sens. Marco Rubio, James Risch, Tim Scott, Joni Ernst, James Inhofe, Todd Younger, John Kennedy, Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall wrote.
Republicans, citing the CARES Act handed final yr, stated PPP eligibility is proscribed to entities with 500 or fewer workers. The senators additionally cited prior SBA rules, saying the administration establishes that a measurement of an entity is taken into account “with every of its associates within the dedication of eligibility.”
“To acquire a PPP mortgage, an applicant should certify that they’re eligible to obtain a mortgage beneath the foundations in impact on the time the applying is submitted,” the Republican senators wrote. “In making such certification, an applicant is required to use the affiliation guidelines relevant to the PPP and establish its associates.”
The Republican senators went on to quote SBA knowledge from Might 2020, saying the Small Enterprise Administration “notified a lot of PPFA associates that they’d wrongfully utilized for 38 PPP loans totaling greater than $80 million .”
The SBA, on the time, in line with Republicans, decided that the native associates of PPFA had been “ineligible for PPP loans beneath the relevant affiliation guidelines and measurement requirements and that the loans they obtained needs to be returned.”
On the time, SBA cited the “management the PPFA exercised over its native associates” in areas like medical requirements, affiliate affected person switch, and “an accreditation overview course of administered each three years as proof of an affiliated organizational construction.”
PPFA has almost 16,000 workers nationwide, and due to its measurement, Republicans wrote that the SBA, final yr, decided that the associates had been “ineligible for PPP” and requested that every affiliate “return the $80 million” in PPP funds they “wrongfully obtained.”
However final month, in line with the Republican senators, SBA supplied the Senate Small Enterprise Committee with an up to date dataset on PPP loans as of March 14, which revealed that many of the PPFA associates “haven’t returned their PPP funds as requested by the SBA,” but additionally that two further associates utilized for and had been accredited for a second draw mortgage “with full information of their ineligibility.”
The Republicans additionally claimed that at the least one further PPFA affiliate has been accredited for a mortgage since March 15.
“Debtors who make incorrect or false eligibility certifications on their PPP utility are topic to extreme penalties,” they wrote. “For that reason, we respectfully request that you simply direct the Division to analyze whether or not any PPFA associates made a knowingly false certification on their purposes for PPP loans and pursue all acceptable penalties for any illegal participation in this system.”
The senators known as for a full DOJ investigation into the matter, in addition to an audit from the SBA inspector normal.
However Jaqueline Ayers, vice chairman of presidency relations & public coverage for Deliberate Parenthood Federation of America, slammed Republicans’ claims as “baseless political assaults.”
“It’s disappointing that whereas Deliberate Parenthood well being facilities throughout the nation proceed to offer important well being care of their communities all through the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressional Republicans proceed to deal with baseless political assaults,” Ayers stated in a press release to Fox Information. “Like many different native nonprofits and well being care suppliers, the unbiased Deliberate Parenthood 501(c)(three) organizations who had been awarded PPP loans met the eligibility necessities established by each Congress and the Small Enterprise Administration.”
In response to PPFA, the entities who utilized for PPP loans had been eligible to obtain them beneath the foundations of the CARES Act—particularly the affiliation rule. PPFA additionally informed Fox Information that the Deliberate Parenthood associates are “unbiased 501(c)(three) organizations,” and are “not managed” by PPFA.
PPFA additionally argued that “nothing” within the CARES Act or steerage from the SBA “bars such an entity from receiving funding,” and stated that the group’s “federated construction” is “not dissimilar to many different organizations who obtained loans.”
PPFA additionally informed Fox Information that SBA wrote to “many” PPFA associates final spring with a “preliminary conclusion” on their PPP loans, which the PPFA associates responded to by difficult their dedication.
“It’s time for everybody to come back collectively to deal with this pandemic, not for uninformed political assaults on entry to important well being care,” Ayers stated.
The requires investigation comes after Paul, final month, stated he was “profitable” in stopping the Senate coronavirus aid invoice from together with a provision that would supply PPP help to Deliberate Parenthoods throughout America.
Fox Information first reported final month that Paul “compelled” Democrats to take away the supply which might have allowed each Deliberate Parenthood throughout the nation to obtain funds by means of the PPP, which he stated “was all the time meant for small companies.”
“Democrats knew this was by no means about COVID aid or serving to small companies,” Paul, R-Ky., informed Fox Information. “It was a shameless try to fund their radical agenda on the taxpayers’ backs, and I used to be profitable in stopping that from taking place by stopping these funds from going to abortion mills.”
In response to Paul’s workplace, the Home-passed model of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bundle included a provision that may deal with particular person Deliberate Parenthood areas as “separate and distinct entities,” making them eligible for federal help beneath the PPP.
Paul’s workplace pointed to the “authentic congressional intent” of the PPP — established final yr on the onset of the coronavirus pandemic — which was to restrict giant and well-financed teams from receiving a mortgage and as a substitute present aid to small companies affected by COVID-19.
Sources informed Fox Information that Senate Democrats had deliberate to waive affiliation guidelines for nonprofits to offer paycheck safety loans to Deliberate Parenthoods within the Home model of the invoice, however that Paul “strenuously” argued to the Senate parliamentarian that the waiver would “solely profit” Deliberate Parenthood.
Earlier than the parliamentarian was in a position to rule on the arguments offered, Democrats filed an up to date model of the invoice that didn’t embrace the supply, in what Paul’s workplace known as “a concession that averted setting a precedent.”