Rep. Porter Introduces Bill to Increase Accountability for Small Business Relief Loans
Congresswoman’s legislation would make all Paycheck Protection Program loans public
Washington, May 14, 2020
WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today introduced legislation to increase transparency and accountability for a loan program aimed at providing relief for small businesses feeling the squeeze during the coronavirus pandemic. Her bill would require all loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to be made public.
“The PPP is the last line of defense for millions of American workers facing the prospect of unemployment, and a lifeline for millions more hoping to be rehired in the near future,” said Congresswoman Porter. “Unfortunately, we have extensive evidence that wealthy corporations, with executives making millions of dollars, are getting these loans. Full transparency of PPP data is the only way to quickly and fairly show who is using this program to line their pockets.”
Congresswoman Porter’s analysis of open source data shows the need to make PPP loan data public. Among the publicly traded firms that have received, and kept PPP loans are:
Loans to such publicly traded firms account for only $1.4 billion out of the more than $650 billion Congress provided for the PPP, according to data collected by accountable.US. That means that there could potentially be hundreds of other businesses trying to game the system. Loans to privately held firms are much harder to track, but include loans to:
“If you’re a multimillionaire taking taxpayer money in the middle of the biggest unemployment since the Great Depression, get ready to explain that decision to the American people,” added Congresswoman Porter. “If you’re willing to take public money, you should be willing to face public scrutiny. That’s what government accountability is all about.”
Congresswoman Porter has prioritized transparency with her constituents and holding the Trump Administration accountable in its response to the coronavirus. She was the first to analyze trade data showing major increases of U.S. exports of personal protective equipment and ventilators in early 2020. After Congresswoman Porter’s push, Democratic leadership included provisions in the Heroes Act to require full transparency around use of the Defense Production Act.