In yet another blow to transparency and accountability, the Trump administration reportedly allowed lawmakers, federal officials, Small Business Administration (SBA) staff, and their families to be exempted from conflict of interest reviews in applying for funds from the SBA’s $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The timing of the rule is particularly suspect — the change allowing for this “blanket approval” was issued on April 13th, ten days after the program started accepting applications. 

Reaction from Accountable.Us President Kyle Herrig:

“There is no greater failure of basic accountability than allowing those administering the Paycheck Protection Program access to its funds without bothering to review potential conflicts of interest. The SBA mismanaged the program so badly that hundreds of small businesses weren’t able to access funds necessary to keep them afloat and their workers employed.”

The program, which has been marred by mismanagement and misuse from the start, has allowed millions to go to large, publicly-traded companies rather than the Main Street businesses it was created to help keep afloat.

At least four members of Congress have received paycheck protection funds, and Trump advisor Larry Kudlow admitted that his wife applied for a PPP loan near the outset of the program.

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