Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) wants Congress to ban abortion providers from receiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and to require Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) offices to return the $80 million they received under the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus economic relief initiative.
“We want legislation that specifically demands that Planned Parenthood give the money back for several reasons, including the Hyde Amendment,” Marshall told The Epoch Times on Aug. 3.
“Also, they are a large association, this program was meant for businesses with 500 or fewer employees while they employee 16,000 people, and they have $2 billion in assets. This loan was not meant for them.”
Marshall’s proposal—the Abortion Provider Loan Elimination Act—would extend the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding to groups that terminate unborn babies’ lives as a medical procedure, to the loans program.
The Hyde Amendment was first adopted by Congress in 1976 and was named for then-Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.). The measure has to be attached to specific appropriation bills and in recent years has only been added to those funding federal health care programs.
Congress didn’t apply the Hyde provision to the loans program when it approved it as part of the $3 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
“We believe it should be. Those of us who believe in life and regard the sanctity of life think it should have been. But these were federal funds and they were used as forgivable loans to abortion providers,” Marshall told The Epoch Times.
“We even sent a letter to the SBA [Small Business Administration] saying, ‘Do not give money to Planned Parenthood,’ and despite our letter telling them not to, they went ahead and did it,” he said.
Marshall was referring to an April 30 letter that he and 93 Republican Senate and House colleagues sent to Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration, encouraging her to not extend the loans to PPFA or any of its local affiliates.
They noted that the CARES measure gave the administration wide latitude in defining eligibility for the loans to ensure they went to small businesses with 500 or fewer employees.
“Under these rules, PPFA, and each of its affiliates, should be deemed ‘affiliated’ due to their common management, and thereby disqualified from PPP loans based on their aggregated size of around 16,000 employees nationwide,” the letter stated.
Several PPFA affiliates, however, applied for and received loans totaling $80 million.
“We actually think there was fraud in what they did, it was very fraudulent, and they should be prosecuted as well,” Marshall said.
“The good news is the Paycheck Protection Program was the most successful federal program we ever saw rolled out. … But we were in such a hurry to save jobs that we had to do it quickly.
“In Kansas, it saved over 500,000 jobs, but we knew the opportunities for fraud and for gray areas would happen. Typically, when we have called out companies that took the money but shouldn’t have, they returned the money, but there are still some out there hanging on to it, including Planned Parenthood.”
Marshall said the Department of the Treasury’s special inspector general for pandemic recovery is conducting a broad investigation of how the PPP program is being administered.
The $670 billion program has been lauded for enabling hundreds of thousands of small businesses to maintain payrolls during the nationwide lockdown launched in March to cope with the CCP virus, which is also known as the novel coronavirus.
Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.) reportedly lobbied the administration to allow casinos to receive the loans despite the fact her husband’s company is in the casino business.
“I expect the inspector general to investigate any case that is gray. I’m not saying that was right or wrong, but it certainly needs to be investigated,” Marshall said of the Lee case.
Individuals connected to companies that received the loans have contributed $52 million to candidates and advocacy groups so far in the 2020 campaign cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Among those individuals were dozens of attorneys supporting former Vice President Joe Biden and who work for large law firms in Texas and New York that specialize in class-action litigation against Fortune 500 corporations.
Contact Mark Tapscott at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc.