Most of the Mississippi congressional delegation joined 33 senators and 92 representatives in a letter demanding an investigation into how 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates received $80 million from the Paycheck Protection Program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Signing for the state of Mississippi were U.S. senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith and U.S. representatives Michael Guest and Steven Palazzo.
The letter was addressed to the SBA’s administrator, Jovita Carranza and while the letter complimented the SBA’s efforts for cancelling those loans, called into question the circumstances under which they were awarded. The letter also said that any investigation needs to determine whether Planned Parenthood employees, lenders or SBA staff knowingly violated the law.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act requires that affiliation rules promulgated by the SBA be applied to non-profits for determining whether they have 500 or fewer employees.
According to the letter, Planned Parenthood refers to its affiliates as “local offices” despite being separately incorporated. The pro-abortion group also describe an affiliate structure in which its central administration can unilaterally impose policies and practices on their local offices.
The letter also said that at least one Planned Parenthood affiliate in Orange and San Bernadino counties in California received more than $2 million for its loan.
Planned Parenthood has assets of more than $2 billion and more than 16,000 employees nationwide. The organization says in its tax filings with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that it exercises leadership and advocacy in the field of reproductive health. It received $259 million in contributions in 2018 and $344 million in contributions in 2017.
The PPP is an SBA loan program that was created by the CARES Act that was passed by Congress in March. It’s designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses and non-profits to keep workers on their payrolls. The loans will be forgiven if employees are kept on the payrolls for at least eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.