WASHINGTON (WDVM) — There’s a battle happening between Congress and the White House over transparency on small business loans.
Congress has sent hundreds of billions of dollars to employers during the pandemic to keep workers on the payroll.
“Six-hundred and fifty billion dollars that are being spent and we need to know if this program is working, and who’s benefiting from it,” said Rep. Kate Porter, D-Calif.
Congresswoman Porter says she was disappointed when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate Committee some PPP loans would remain confidential.
“If he’s not going to step up and make these disclosures, Congress is prepared to act,” Rep. Porter said.
Porter has authored an amendment to PPP to make public how much each business gets.
Congressman John Garamendi says transparency was a key reason most Democrats supported the program.
“The American public has to be totally, absolutely outraged when the Secretary of the Treasury tells you we’re not going to tell you who’s going to get the money,” said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.
But Secretary Mnuchin and other Republicans say some information, if made public, could disadvantage small businesses.
“We should never have a business have to give some of their secrets away, in essence,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
GOP House Leader McCarthy says information about a business’ payroll could be used against them by competitors.
But he says if Democrats disagree, they could take a different approach with Secretary Mnuchin.
“Why don’t we just pick up the phone and ask him what he’s talking about, instead of going tit for tat I’m going to do a bill,” Rep. McCathy said.
In response, Porter says she did send the Secretary a letter to which she hasn’t gotten a response.