Trump Administration Actually Only Disclosing 14% of PPP Recipients After Gamesmanship on Transparency
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday night, the Trump administration announced that it would release basic information on recipients of more than $150,000 under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This came in apparent response to growing public pressure on the administration to follow through with its promises to release all individual data. Yet the administration’s “compromise” on transparency will still leave the public in the dark on all but 14 percent of forgivable PPP loans. It’s not enough. Government watchdog Accountable.US called on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to stop playing games and bring full transparency into this process.
According to the Wall Street Journal: “Of the roughly 4.6 million borrowers in the program, about 86% took out loans worth less than $150,000, according to data released by the SBA.” And by the Trump administration’s own numbers, the 14 percent of borrowers that took more than $150,000 in loans have received nearly 75 percent of the total money distributed by the program.
“Anything less than the full transparency that was promised in this program is unacceptable,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The Trump administration wants credit for letting the public see just 14 percent of the PPP picture. From what little transparency they do offer, it’s still clear this program meant for small businesses has overwhelmingly benefited large companies and special interests. The American people shouldn’t have to keep shaming the Trump administration to find out how $500 billion of their tax dollars are being spent.”
The administration’s current position is that any business that took up to $150,000 should be free from public scrutiny – even if that business may have ties to the administration, is based in another country, or didn’t use the money to save jobs.
BACKGROUND: For months, Accountable.US has called for full transparency and sharply criticized the administration for allowing large, publicly traded companies to siphon off money meant for small mom-and-pop businesses. Tonight’s announcement still falls short of what advocates have called for by not disclosing parent companies or how much money will be forgiven. Instead the administration will merely disclose “business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes, business type, demographic data, non-profit information, jobs supported, and loan amount ranges” and only for companies that took more than $150,000 in money.