Senate Republicans Are Determined to Get to the Bottom of Planned Parenthood's PPP Loans

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Posted: Jul 22, 2021 7:05 PM
Senate Republicans Are Determined to Get to the Bottom of Planned Parenthood's PPP Loans

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Planned Parenthood, which performs more abortions than any other entity in the country, is already taxpayer-funded, yet they somehow still get even more. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) approved funds for Planned Parenthood it was not supposed to, to the tune of $80 million, in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Trump administration requested the funds back in March 2020.

Last August, then Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) spearheaded an effort to demand accountability on the loans, and if Planned Parenthood knowingly committed fraud to obtain these loans.

Since then, even with Sen. Loeffler out of office and their party now in the majority, Republicans have not let up.

The latest effort comes in the form of a unified effort from all 10 minority members of the Senate Small Business Committee. 

Members include Ranking member Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as well as Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Risch (R-ID), Tim Scott (R-SC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Todd Young (R-IN), John Kennedy (R-LA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Roger Marshall (R-KS).

The members released a unified statement about these PPP loans.

"The SBA has wrongfully approved nearly $100 million in taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to Planned Parenthood branches across the country. On June 30th alone, SBA approved four PPP loans to Planned Parenthood affiliates despite a determination from the last Administration that these entities were ineligible for the program. We will not allow a vote on this nominee until the SBA takes action to recover the wrongfully acquired PPP funds by Planned Parenthood entities," the statement read. 

The nominee in question is Dilawar Syed, who is being considered as President Joe Biden's nominee to be the Deputy Administrator of the SBA. 

Other concerns Republican members have with Syed include his board membership with Emgage Action, the 501 (c) (4) arm of the Muslim advocacy group Emgage USA, as Houston Keene reported for Fox News

Sens. Risch, Rubio, Hawley, Scott, Kennedy, Inhofe, Marshall, and Ernst sent a letter on June 30 to Committee Chair Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) expressing concerns about the group's "overtly anti-Israel positions and rhetoric" and Emgage Action's release of "incendiary statements during the regional unrest."

During a hearing in April, Sen. Inhofe and Syed engaged in a back-and-forth to do with questions of these PPP loans, though the nominee's response was less than helpful.

Inhofe: What is your feeling about the fact that Planned Parenthood, we understand, has received some of the PPP loans, I contend that are illegal because, first of all, just the size limit of five hundred, and they are a group of 16,000. So, would you believe that they would not qualify for the PPP loans because of size and affiliate size alone? 

Syed: So, Senator, it is an important question, and we had this this discussion earlier. I am obviously not familiar with the rules as applied to this particular entity. If confirmed, what I can commit to you is that I will work with the administrator to make sure that we are applying rules consistently for all organizations as laid out in the law.

Inhofe: I am not sure it would be necessary to do that because you do have a hard fast rule on the number 500 and this falls way outside of that, so the only question I have is, is there a loophole I don’t know about where this would be a legal and appropriate application of the PPP program. 

Syed: Senator, with all due respect, I am not obviously familiar with the application of this particular entity and what was applied. Again, what I am committing to you, with absolute certainty, is that we will work to apply the rules consistently across and make sure that there is proper legitimacy and review. 

Inhofe: Well, do you know of any exceptions that are in the rules, or the rules in this case, that would provide for it to exceed the 500 limitation for the appropriate programs?

Syed: Senator, I am obviously not privy to the rules; I am not in the job yet, so I am not able to comment on that. Again, I hear your concern. It was brought up earlier as well. I commit to you that I will work with the administrator and the staff to make sure we are applying rules consistently for all entities.

Planned Parenthood also solicited donations for PPE equipment in 2020. 

According to Planned Parenthood's own 2019-2020 annual report, the organization took in $618.1 million of taxpayer funds, which makes up 38 percent of their overall revenue, an increase from last year.