Sen. Tom Cotton Leads Call for DOJ Probe into Planned Parenthood $80 Million PPP Loans

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) looks on as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delivers the annua
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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) led 27 of his Senate colleagues Thursday in a letter to Attorney General William Barr that calls for the Department of Justice to investigate the 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates that inappropriately applied for and received federal loans through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) of the CARES Act.

A press release from Cotton’s office stated:

Under the statuary text of the CARES Act, organizations like these affiliates were expressly prohibited from receiving PPP funds. Additionally, the Small Business Administration confirmed last month that its standing affiliation rules apply to the new PPP, which excludes organizations like Planned Parenthood that employ its type of governance and affiliation structure and exceed the cap on total employees.

The senators wrote to Barr, “We write to urge you to investigate the activities of dozens of Planned Parenthood affiliates that reportedly applied for and received approximately $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, despite actual knowledge that they were ineligible for such loans.”

They continued that PPP “was not designed to give government funds to politicized, partisan abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

“Planned Parenthood fraudulently taking tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help keep those small businesses and nonprofit organizations afloat cannot stand and must be addressed,” the senators added.

In a statement Planned Parenthood released March 27 about the CARES Act, the abortion business accused the relief measure “includes multiple attacks on reproductive health care,” and cited an article at leftwing Refinery that stated:

The bill gives the Small Business Administration “broad discretion” to exclude Planned Parenthood affiliates and other nonprofits serving low-income people, and deny them benefits under the small business-loan program, explains a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The bill also attaches an unnecessary Hyde Amendment provision (the Hyde Amendment bars the use of federal funds on abortion) to a state coronavirus-relief fund.

“Based on these statements, it seems clear that Planned Parenthood knew that it was ineligible for the small business loans under the CARES Act long before its affiliates fraudulently selfcertified that they were eligible,” the letter read. “As you know, fraudulent loan applications can trigger both civil and criminal penalties.”

Despite the earlier acknowledgment that Planned Parenthood was ineligible for the PPP loans, Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations and public policy with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said Thursday in a statement the chain’s affiliates were eligible to receive the coronavirus funds:

Like many other local nonprofits and health care providers, some independent Planned Parenthood 501(c)(3) organizations applied for and were awarded loans under the eligibility rules established by the CARES Act and the Small Business Administration (SBA), which they met. Planned Parenthood health centers play a core role in the social safety net, and there is no more critical time for the care they provide than during a public health crisis.

The remainder of Ayers’ statement is a defense of why Planned Parenthood affiliates should be permitted to keep the funds.

“[T]his pandemic has had a significant impact on Planned Parenthood health centers’ ability to provide care,” she said. “Paycheck Protection Program loans have ensured health centers can retain staff and continue to provide patients with essential, time-sensitive sexual and reproductive health care during this crisis.”

Ayers continued the senators’ call for an investigation into the loans “is a clear political attack on Planned Parenthood health ceters and access to reproductive health care.”

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight revealed Tuesday evening 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates had applied for and received $80 million in loans from the PPP.

In a statement sent to Breitbart News, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates President Thomas Glessner said:

It is the height of irony that Planned Parenthood—a multi-billion dollar industry that received over $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds over the last three years—now feels entitled to taxpayer dollars meant to help small businesses and organizations in need. The last thing Americans should fund with taxpayer dollars is the bailout of this corrupt, cash-rich abortion giant.

Other senators who joined Cotton in signing the letter are: Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS),  Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), David Perdue (R-GA), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), and Todd Young (R-IN).


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