GOP Congress Members Received Millions In COVID Relief Loans
Data recently released by the Small Business Administration shows that businesses owned by members of Congress received millions in aid from the agency’s loan program, according to The Washington Post.
- The $660 billion small-businesses relief program also gave out loans to private schools, firms owned by foreign companies, and chains owned by prominent Wall Street firms.
- The seemingly first-come, first-served program spanned a number of industries, failing to identify which companies may present a potential conflict of interest with prominent politicians.
- At least seven members of Congress or their spouses, as well as Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, all have links to companies that have received aid from the program, which has sparked harsh criticism.
- The Post reported that the list includes “lawmakers who were directly involved in shaping regulations and also benefited from a blanket waiver of ethics concerns.”
- The report names Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) as among the members of Congress affiliated with businesses that received loans.
- Craig Holman, who is an advocate from the watchdog group Public Citizen, has stated that policy makers shouldn’t be able to profit from taxpayer-backed loans:
“If they have some sort of influence over how the money gets awarded, or how much money gets awarded, they should not be the recipients of those funds. If they are the recipients of their own cash that they’re handing out, it really raises questions of self-dealing.”