House Chairs Demand That SBA Immediately Comply With GAO’s Oversight of Taxpayer Funds for Coronavirus
Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2020)—Today, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman James E. Clyburn, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez, and Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Chairman Mike Quigley sent a letter demanding that the Small Business Administration (SBA) comply with requests from the independent and nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) for interviews, documents, and data related to actions of the SBA in addressing economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are deeply troubled by SBA’s failure to comply with GAO’s independent and nonpartisan oversight of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest emergency appropriations package in United States history,” the Chairs wrote. “SBA’s withholding of information is in violation of the law.”
The CARES Act requires GAO to continually monitor and report on the nation’s preparedness for, response to, and recovery from the pandemic, including more than $2 trillion in taxpayer funds for critical financial assistance to individual citizens, loans for businesses, support for hospitals and other medical providers, and economic relief for impacted businesses and industries.
Over the past two months, GAO has requested interviews, documents, and data from SBA as part of its coronavirus pandemic oversight responsibilities. GAO informed the Committees that SBA has not complied with GAO’s requests and repeatedly failed to commit to a timeframe in which it would comply. SBA also has not provided GAO with loan level data on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“Congress established the PPP with broad bipartisan support to provide a lifeline for small businesses that otherwise might be forced to lay off employees or shut down,” the Chairs wrote. “Unfortunately, many large companies were able to utilize this program and obtained PPP loans that were intended for small businesses. Refusing to provide basic data to GAO about PPP loans appears to be an attempt to avoid such oversight and accountability.”
For these reasons, the Chairs request that SBA provide all data, documents, interviews, and other information requested to GAO by June 29, 2020, and confirm to the Committees by that same date that the SBA has fully cooperated with GAO’s requests.
Click here to read today’s letter.