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Planned Parenthood has come under fire after dozens of its affiliates applied for and received millions of dollars in coronavirus stimulus funding meant for small businesses.
The government is demanding that 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates which were awarded $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program return the money as they were not even eligible to apply for the funds, Fox News reported.
(Source: Fox News)
“Planned Parenthood is not a small business. It’s a national brand,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday.
“The dirtiest national brand,” he added, noting how the organization “openly boasts about how much of a non-small business they are, in fact.”
But 37 affiliated clinics applied for taxpayer-funded federal loans that were part of the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress and intended to help small businesses in the country facing the economic ravages brought on by the pandemic.
The affiliates should have known they would not qualify for the payouts, according to the Small Business Administration, which is demanding the return of the money as the clinics are part of a larger organization with more than 500 employees and therefore not eligible.
“Across the country, Planned Parenthood refused to cease its abortion operation in wake of the pandemic, hoarding personal protective equipment and putting its staff and women at risk,” a spokesperson for the pro-life nonprofit Susan B. Anthony List told Fox News.
“It is rich that they, in turn, feel entitled to taxpayer dollars meant to help businesses in need,” the spokesperson added. “After decades of feeding at the taxpayer’s trough while running the nation’s largest abortion operation, they have over a billion dollars in net assets. They should return this funding immediately. We thank President Trump for his strong commitment to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and abortionists like Planned Parenthood.”
In one case, a PPP loan in the amount of a $1,328,000 was awarded to the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Metropolitan Washington (PPMW) which will be receiving a letter from the SBA asking for the funds to be returned.
But even the mandatory repayment of the loans alone may not get the affiliates off the hook as the SBA warned of potentially more “severe penalties” in the letter since the facilities knew they were not technically eligible when they applied. Criminal or civil sanctions can be issued if the recipients knowingly made incorrect or false applications, according to the SBA letter.
“PPFA’s bylaws, a version of which is publicly available, reveal that becoming a PPFA affiliate requires a certification by the PPFA board,” the letter read, according to Fox News. Once certified, the affiliates “shall be governed by written bylaws, which conform to PPFA policies.”
Condemnation and warnings of possible criminal prosecution came from angry lawmakers who called out the abortion provider which receives millions in taxpayer-funded government grants and contracts each year.
“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,” Sen. Marco Rubio said, calling for an investigation.
“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 Florida Republican who served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, added.
Planned Parenthood affiliates controlled by a parent organization sitting on half a billion in net assets does not qualify for #PPP. And if they knowingly broke the law they must be held accountable https://t.co/hYMgdvYeqJ https://t.co/C7M0e3uaM8
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 20, 2020
“The money needs to be recovered and if anybody knowingly falsified applications, they need to be prosecuted,” Missouri GOP Senator Josh Hawley tweeted Tuesday.
Sen. Rick Scott echoed the demands that the “money should be returned immediately.”
“Yet another example of the #PPP program being misused. Florida’s taxpayers should not be footing to bail out a huge organization like Planned Parenthood,” the Florida Republican tweeted.
Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma noted that “every dollar Planned Parenthood took from PPP was a dollar that did not get to legitimate small businesses.”
Every dollar Planned Parenthood took from PPP was a dollar that did not get to legitimate small businesses.
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) May 20, 2020
“With an annual budget of over one billion dollars and the explicit Small Business Administration affiliation rules made it clear that Planned Parenthood was not and is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program,” the Republican lawmaker 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.”
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