Churches Are Receiving Bailout Money And The GOP Is Hiding The Details

SophieL

Federal government funding program raises an uproar, as the distribution of tax dollars is kept secret.

The U.S. government passed the “Paycheck Protection Program” in April, stirring an uproar over the distributive practices and leading to questions over who has received how much money — including the country's churches.

  • The Friendly Atheist noted that large businesses received millions while many small businesses gained nothing from the program.
  • But nonprofits also were eligible, so many religious institutions applied. As a result, thousands of churches were gaining millions of taxpayer dollars.

This week, the Trump Administration and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said they will not publicize which groups got how much money.

  • The lack of transparency means that companies owned by Republican donors could be gaining a disproportionate amount of funding from the program.
  • The Government Accountability Office, the presiding watchdog, has also been left in the dark about the bailout details, though “Mnuchin said the administration is working with the GAO to provide more information.”

“Where public funds go, public accountability must follow,” stated Alison Gill, Vice President for Legal and Policy at American Atheists.

  • American Atheists are combating the GOP’s arguably illegal financial package to churches. Their Freedom of Information Act request with the Small Business Administration demands information about which nonprofits received funds.
  • Churches receive the benefits of nonprofit status and these bailout funds, so church leaders are not considered reliable informants on the matter, The Friendly Atheist noted.

“The Trump Administration should never have funneled taxpayer dollars toward religious worship. This is patently unconstitutional,” said Gill. “Now that it has happened, we demand complete transparency to determine the scope of this unconstitutional activity and the extent of any favoritism.”

Read the full report.

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