Congress demands transparency on PPP loans

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – There is a battle between Congress and the White House over small business lending transparency.

Congress sent hundreds of billions of dollars to employers during the pandemic to keep workers on the payroll.

“Six hundred and fifty billion dollars is spent and we need to know if this program is working and who is benefiting from it,” said Representative Kate Porter, D-Calif.

MK Porter said she was disappointed when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate committee that some P3 loans would be kept confidential.

“If it is not going to step up and make these disclosures, Congress is ready to act,” said Representative Porter.

Porter drafted an amendment to PPP to make public how much each company receives.

Congressman John Garamendi said transparency was one of the main reasons most Democrats supported the program.

“The American public must be totally, absolutely outraged when the Secretary of the Treasury tells you that we are not going to tell you who is going to get the money,” said Representative John Garamendi, D-Calif.

But Secretary Mnuchin and other Republicans say some information, if made public, could put small businesses at a disadvantage.

“We should never force a company to reveal some of its secrets, in essence,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

GOP House leader McCarthy said a company’s payroll information could be used against them by competitors.

But he says if Democrats don’t agree, they might take a different approach with Secretary Mnuchin.

“Why don’t you just pick up the phone and ask him what he’s talking about, instead of going tit for tat I’m going to make an invoice,” said Rep. McCathy.

In response, Porter says she sent the secretary a letter to which she did not get a response.

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