(Liberty Bell) – The Trump administration has responded swiftly and decisively in the wake of news reports that the nation’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, fraudulently received $80 million in funds intended to help small businesses deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
Last week, the President Trump took preemptive action to prevent PP from receiving any of the money from the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) meant to help small businesses, which Planned Parenthood is not. Despite the rules and regulations built into the plan prohibiting affiliates of larger organizations with more than 500 employees from applying and the President’s efforts the abortion chain received $80 million in loans from the PPP. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PFFA) alone has more than 600 employees.
According to Fox News, 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates received the PPP funds with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties in California receiving the largest loan of $7.5 million.
Now President Trump’s administration is demanding the money be returned.
Fox reports that the Small Business Association (SBA) is contacting each PP affiliate to explain that they are a part of a larger organization with more than 500 employees and are not eligible for PPP funds.
Fox News further explains:
A Planned Parenthood affiliate in Metropolitan Washington (PPMW), for example, will receive a letter stating that although self-certified that it was eligible for a $1,328,000 PPP loan in accordance with the SBA’s affiliation rules, it will need to return the money.
The SBA warned more “severe penalties” were possible, beyond mandatory repayment. In particular, incorrect or false eligibility certifications by PPP recipients could result in criminal or civil sanctions if the SBA determined borrowers made knowingly false statements, the SBA letter read.
The letter explained that PPFA affiliates clearly were covered by the PPP affiliate rules. “PPFA’s bylaws, a version of which is publicly available, reveal that becoming a PPFA affiliate requires a certification by the PPFA board,” the document continued. “Once certified, “[e]ach Affiliate shall be governed by written bylaws, which conform to PPFA policies.”
Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., are calling for an investigation and say the money needs to be returned. They also indicated criminal prosecution may be warranted. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and James Lankford, R-Okla., also are demanding Planned Parenthood return the funds, Fox notes.
Rubio, who has served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said Planned Parenthood’s violation of PPP rules was “clear.”
“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 asserted.
“Those funds must be returned immediately,” he continued, adding, “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.”
Hawley tweeted Tuesday night saying, “The money needs to be recovered and if anybody knowingly falsified applications, they need to be prosecuted.”
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 20, 2020
Rick Scott added, “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. This money should be returned immediately.”