A report released Tuesday by the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) suggests that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients with ties to Biden administration personnel received loan forgiveness at a higher rate than the general population.
The FGI, a new research organization dedicated to “improving the American public’s awareness about the officials, decisions, and priorities of their government,” compiled a database on loan forgiveness using the government’s own data.
In the report, FGI summarizes its conclusions:
The findings show more than $272 million was given to former employers and clients of at least 197 political appointees (spanning 33% of Cabinet officials). Many of these entities have substantial influence in the current Administration. More than 95 percent of these loans were either fully or partially forgiven, significantly higher than the 80 percent average rate of forgiveness across the program. To date, nearly $222 million in PPP loans were forgiven, with more than $1.8 million paid in excess fees.
The level of high-profile officials associated with entities receiving the COVID relief funds aimed at small businesses is quite significant. At least eight current Cabinet Secretaries, representing one-third of President Biden’s Cabinet, have former employers or clients that sought and received PPP loans. Many of those loans were ultimately forgiven in total or in part.
The report does not directly allege that specific government officials intervened directly to help firms or organizations connected to them. However, it notes a pattern, and lists several high-ranking officials — including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm — as among those linked to recipients of PPP loan forgiveness.
Some of the recipient organizations are involved in left-wing political advocacy. The FGI notes that fraud within the PPP program was widespread overall, as the urgency of the pandemic led to weak oversight of applicants for the emergency loans.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.