Rhetoric/Reality: Mnuchin on PPP Transparency
RHETORIC: In a House Financial Services Committee hearing today, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said “we have full transparency” with regard to recipients of the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
REALITY: That is far from the truth.
- The administration’s proposed plan for releasing information on recipients of PPP funds only sheds light on 14 percent of the loans given out through the program — leaving the public in the dark about the remaining 86%.
- The administration has only agreed to release information on businesses that took more than $150,000 from the program — meaning those that may have ties to the administration, be based in another country, or didn’t use the money to save jobs would be free from scrutiny.
- Just one week ago, Mnuchin himself tried to shrug off calls for increased sunlight into the identities of PPP borrowers, claiming in an interview with TIME that the administration “never agreed to full transparency” with regard to these disclosures.
- The Government Accountability Office previously revealed that the Trump administration was “withholding PPP loan data the agency requested as part of its oversight efforts.” The day before, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration wouldn’t make the data available to the general public based on vague concerns about privacy.