Senate Republicans Call for Probe into Planned Parenthood Receipt of Coronavirus Funds

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Isabella Casillas Guzman during the Confirmation Hearing Held For SBA Administrator at the US Capitol on February 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. Previously Guzman served as the Director of California's Office of the Small Business Advocate. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A group of Senate Republicans has written to the Small Business Administration (SBA) calling for an investigation into how Planned Parenthood affiliates are still able to collect loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

In a letter to SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman, 25 GOP senators stated affiliates of the abortion business are still “illegally” obtaining millions of dollars from the program that has been part of the coronavirus stimulus.

Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner posted the letter from the senators to Guzman in which the Republicans emphasized that not only do the rules of the PPP state Planned Parenthood affiliates are ineligible for the funds, but also SBA had already informed the affiliates they were not eligible and demanded that funds already doled out be returned.

The senators wrote that of the 38 Planned Parenthood affiliates that received funding, and were informed they had done so illegally, only seven returned the money.

“[T]he remaining 31 affiliates kept the received funding despite receiving notice that they had received such funds illegally,” the senators stated. “Of those 31, two affiliates actually applied and received a second draw from the program for a combined $3.6 million when additional funding was appropriated.”

The Republican lawmakers continued:

It is unconscionable that SBA continues to approve PPP loans made to organizations which are clearly ineligible for funding. This is unacceptable, not only because SBA, like other agencies, must be a faithful and responsible steward of taxpayer dollars but also because continuing to make funds available for Planned Parenthood affiliates is in direct violation of the law.

As Breitbart News reported in May 2020, Planned Parenthood affiliates received at least $80 million in loans from PPP.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, told Fox News at the time Planned Parenthood had violated the PPP rules:

There is no ambiguity in the legislation that passed or public record around its passage that organizations such as Planned Parenthood, whose parent organization has close to half a billion dollars in assets, is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. Those funds must be returned immediately. Furthermore, the SBA should open an investigation into how these loans were made in clear violation of the applicable affiliation rules and if Planned Parenthood, the banks, or staff at the SBA knowingly violated the law, all appropriate legal options should be pursued.

In early March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) forced Democrats to remove from their COVID relief bill a provision that would have allowed every Planned Parenthood facility in the nation to receive free taxpayer funds through the PPP.

Paul’s office explained in a press release:

The original congressional intent of PPP was to limit large and well-financed groups, such as Planned Parenthood, from receiving a loan, and instead provide relief to small business affected by COVID-19. Democrats had planned to waive affiliation rules for nonprofits to provide paycheck protection loans to Planned Parenthood in the House version of the COVID-19 relief package. The Paul team strenuously argued to the Senate Parliamentarian that this waiver would only benefit Planned Parenthood and thus violated the so-called Byrd rule. Before the Parliamentarian was able to rule on the arguments presented, the Democrats filed an updated version of the bill that did not include the offending provision – a concession that avoided setting a precedent.

Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations & public policy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, denied the provision in the Democrats’ bill was related to “Planned Parenthood 501(c)(3) organizations,” reported Fox News.

“The local Planned Parenthood affiliates that previously obtained loans made available by the CARES Act were eligible under the affiliation rules defined by the Small Business Administration,” Ayers insisted, referring to Planned Parenthood abortion clinics as providers of “essential healthcare.”

Paul said, however, “Democrats knew this was never about COVID relief or helping small businesses.”

“It was a shameless attempt to fund their radical agenda on the taxpayers’ backs and I was successful in preventing that from happening by stopping these funds from going to abortion mills,” he added.

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