Democrats accuse SBA of stonewalling GAO's attempts to oversee lending program

Democrats accuse SBA of stonewalling GAO's attempts to oversee lending program
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House Democrats accused the Small Business Administration (SBA) of stonewalling the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) attempts to oversee coronavirus relief aid including a lending program to assist businesses impacted by the pandemic. 

GAO told Congress members that the SBA has not complied with requests for interviews, documents and data as part of GAO’s oversight responsibilities over programs established by the CARES Act, Democrats said in a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza on Wednesday. 

The Democrats said the SBA has also not provided GAO with loan level data on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans for small businesses to avoid layoffs amid the pandemic. 


“Unfortunately, many large companies were able to utilize this program and obtained PPP loans that were intended for small businesses," Democrats wrote. "Refusing to provide basic data to GAO about PPP loans appears to be an attempt to avoid such oversight and accountability."

The Democrats requested the SBA provide the Oversight committee with all data, documents, interviews and other information requested to GAO by June 29. They are also calling for the SBA to confirm by the same date that the SBA has “fully cooperated” with GAO’s requests. 

“It is critical that SBA comply immediately with all of GAO’s requests and continue to do so in a manner that is transparent and accountable,” Democrats wrote. 

The letter is signed by Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyHillicon Valley: Government used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 | Defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal, includes White House cyber czar position | Officials warn hackers are targeting vaccine supply chain Defense policy bill would create new cyber czar position Sweeping financial crimes bill to hitch a ride on defense measure MORE (D-N.Y.), Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Coronavirus Select Committee Chairman James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyPelosi bullish on COVID-19 relief: 'We cannot leave without it' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress inches closer to virus relief deal Overnight Defense: Lawmakers release compromise defense bill in defiance of Trump veto threat | Senate voting next week on blocking UAE arms sale | Report faults lack of training, 'chronic fatigue' in military plane crashes MORE (D-N.Y.) and Appropriations subcommittee chair Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyHouse approves bill banning big cat ownership after Netflix's 'Tiger King' This week: Congress races to wrap work for the year GSA offers to brief Congress next week on presidential transition MORE (D-Ill.). 

The SBA declined to comment.