Republican Lawmakers Demand Planned Parenthood Return 80 Million in Paycheck Protection Funds

May 20, 2020 Updated: May 20, 2020

After the news broke Tuesday evening that Planned Parenthood received federal funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), many Republican lawmakers voiced their objections.

Planned Parenthood facilities received millions in pandemic aid funds from the PPP, and the federal government is now requiring the organization to pay them back.

Thirty-seven Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and obtained a total of $80 million in loans from the PPP, Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” revealed Tuesday.

“Taxpayer money should never support an abortion or prop up an industry that’s sole purpose is ending life. Pay it back,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) Wednesday.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) all demanded that Planned Parenthood return the funds. Rubio and Hawley called for an investigation, warning that criminal prosecution may be appropriate.

Rubio, who has served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said Planned Parenthood’s violation of PPP rules was obvious.

“There 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,” Rubio said.

He added: “Those funds must be returned immediately. Furthermore, the SBA should open an investigation into how these loans were made in clear violation of the applicable affiliation rules and if Planned Parenthood, the banks, or staff at the SBA knowingly violated the law all appropriate legal options should be pursued.”

The Small Business Administration (SBA) says that businesses of more than 500 employees are not eligible for the PPP funds.

When asked to comment on the Planned Parenthood issue, an SBA spokesperson told The Epoch Times, “The SBA does not comment about individual borrowers.”

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PFFA) itself has more than 600 employees. The largest of the loans was $7.5 million distributed to the Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties in California.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider with close to 350,000 abortions performed each year and holds nearly $2 billion in net assets. It is not eligible for PPP loans.

Planned Parenthood did not immediately return The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

Late Tuesday evening, Hawley wrote on Twitter: “The money needs to be recovered and if anybody knowingly falsified applications, they need to be prosecuted.”

Lankford criticized Planned Parenthood for taking money away from legitimate small businesses.

“Planned Parenthood’s budget of over one billion dollars a year and the explicit Small Business Administration affiliation rules made it clear from the start of the program that Planned Parenthood was not and is not eligible for a small business Paycheck Protection Program loan,” Lankford wrote. “Like other large organizations that returned monies they were not eligible for, Planned Parenthood should immediately repay the American people the money they took from deserving small businesses and non-profits.”

Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), wrote Wednesday, “Planned Parenthood has been caught taking $80m in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds intended for small biz. But PPP is intentionally structured so @PPFA can’t use small biz loans as an abortion slush fund… So how’d they get the money? FRAUD.”