U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, requested U.S. Attorney General William Barr to conduct an immediate review into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
On May 22, Rubio led 33 of his Senate colleagues and 94 Members of the House of Representatives in requesting that Jovita Carranza, the administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), conduct a full investigation into how 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and improperly received a total of $80 million in loans from the PPP. On May 19, Rubio said “[t]here is no ambiguity in the legislation that passed or public record around its passage that organizations such as Planned Parenthood, whose parent organization has close to half a billion dollars in assets, is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.”
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Attorney General Barr:
I write to request your immediate attention to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s facially unlawful participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (“the program”).
In general, the program limits eligibility for small business assistance to entities with 500 or fewer employees. Rules enacted by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act (P.L. 116-36) and prior SBA regulation establish that an entity is considered with its affiliates for a determination of eligibility. SBA affiliation rules generally consider entities to be affiliated “when one controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party or parties controls or has the power to control both.” The program requires applicants to attest their affiliation and establishes that borrowers bear liability for wrongful attestation.
Planned Parenthood’s aggregate employee size is about 16,000 employees nationwide. Planned Parenthood refers to its affiliates as “local offices” despite being separately incorporated. Planned Parenthood’s bylaws describe an affiliate structure in which its management can uniformly and unilaterally impose policies and practices on its affiliates.
Despite this structure and prior admission by a political arm of Planned Parenthood that its affiliates were not eligible for assistance, it was reported that 37 affiliates of Planned Parenthood applied for, and received a total of $80 million in program loans.
On May 19, 2020 the Small Business Administration wrote to Planned Parenthood affiliates receiving program loans to request the return of those loans based on the SBA’s preliminary conclusion that Planned Parenthood affiliates were ineligible under applicable affiliation rules and size standards. The SBA wrote further that, based upon the circumstances, it may refer Planned Parenthood for “appropriate civil or criminal penalties.”
However, loan data disclosed to the public yesterday by the Small Business Administration confirm that a number of Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates received program loans. This latest disclosure once again raises concerns that these affiliates are unlawfully participating in the program.
I urge you to immediately review these loans to ensure the law is being followed and enforced. Thank you for your attention to this matter.