Democrats hammer Mnuchin after he says names of small-business borrowers won't be disclosed

Democrats hammer Mnuchin after he says names of small-business borrowers won't be disclosed
© Bonnie Cash

Democrats tore into Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE after he said this week that companies that received billions of dollars through a coronavirus relief fund will not be named in a reversal of past guidance. 

“Let’s be clear: Secretary Mnuchin is part of the most corrupt administration in history riddled with conflicts, cronyism, & incompetence. It’s absurd that he believes he should hand out more than $500 billion of taxpayers funds in secret,” Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenChris Wallace: Trump struggling with attacks on 'shape-shifter' Harris Markey riffs on JFK quote in new ad touting progressive bona fides Howard Kurtz: Kamala Harris 'getting walk on water coverage' by media after VP pick MORE (D-Mass.), a frequent Mnuchin critic, tweeted Friday. 

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“We knew PPP was broken. We knew minority-owned businesses weren’t receiving help. We knew mass unemployment wasn't being ended. And now, it's clear the Trump admin has been completely corrupt with this program. We must get relief to all workers now,” Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalSanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Matt Stoller: Big tech House grilling the most important hearing on corporate power since the 1930s Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence MORE (D-Wash.), the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, added, referring to the Paycheck Protection Program.

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The PPP was a critical part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed earlier this year to try to provide economic relief to blunt the fiscal fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mnuchin said at a Senate hearing this week that the administration believes the names of borrowers under the program and the amounts they are sent are “propriety” and “confidential” in many cases. 

However, applications for PPP loans, which are forgivable if firms meet certain standards, say the data will be released “automatically.” 

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request from The Hill asking if the agency had any updated guidance as to what, if any, information on PPP borrowers would be released.

The Treasury Department has defended Mnuchin’s position, saying it had concerns that releasing data on borrowers’ identities could risk disclosing propriety information and the salaries of workers and contractors since the PPP loan amounts are tabulated using payrolls of the companies that apply. The agency maintains the PPP fund is different than other programs that include transparency measures. 

The apparent reversal comes as the Government Accountability Office is requesting loan data from the PPP to help craft a required report on the program’s spending.