With this week marking the third anniversary of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., insisted it has been a success.
Rubio was one of the key shapers of the PPP, part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and approved by the White House at the end of March 2020. At the end of July of that year, Rubio introduced the “Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act,” expanding PPP by $60 billion.
This week, Rubio showcased his support of PPP with a piece at Fox News and a new online video.
“In April 2020, more than 20 million Americans lost their jobs. Economists predicted 8 million additional layoffs in May. That would have meant the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, not to mention a cascading crisis in real estate,” Rubio noted. “In response, I led Congress in creating the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which in less than two weeks began distributing forgivable loans to small businesses…. The result was nothing short of remarkable. Instead of losing jobs in May, the economy actually gained 2.5 million of them, overcoming the crushing impact of the lockdown orders.
“Today, it’s fashionable for the media to blame PPP for fraudsters who exploited the system, but those critiques are wrongheaded. To be effective, the program had to be implemented at a breakneck speed with the understanding strict enforcement would come after the crisis passed. The Biden administration’s failure to verify borrowers’ information before forgiving the loans, on the other hand, was negligent at best, criminal at worst,” Rubio added. “Even accounting for fraud, however, the program was an overwhelming success. Roughly 90 percent of the $800 billion issued in forgivable paycheck protection loans went to legitimate businesses for legitimate purposes…. Looking back on pandemic relief spending as a whole, it is obvious that the Democrats turned many of the initial short-term, targeted measures into a massive boondoggle, creating the inflation we continue to suffer from today. But…[t]hough it’s fashionable to play the cynic, I believe the Paycheck Protection Program truly is one of our nation’s great success stories—one Americans can be proud of for generations to come.”
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