Mnuchin says he'll have bipartisan discussions on oversight of PPP loans

Mnuchin says he'll have bipartisan discussions on oversight of PPP loans
© Bonnie Cash

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Hillicon Valley: FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden | Treasury Dept. sanctions Iranian government-backed hackers On the Money: Pelosi draws line at .2T | Jobless claims dip | Swing-state jobless numbers an issue for Trump MORE on Monday said that he will have discussions with lawmakers on a bipartisan basis about oversight of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) after Democrats blasted him for suggesting the names of loan recipients would not be released.

"I will be having discussions with the Senate @SmallBizCmte and others on a bipartisan basis to strike the appropriate balance for proper oversight of #ppploans and appropriate protection of small business information," Mnuchin said on Twitter. 

The PPP was created by the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, known as the CARES Act, that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE signed on March 27 and is a key part of policymakers' efforts to help businesses and workers during the pandemic. Under the program, small businesses can receive loans that will be forgiven if they maintain their payroll.

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During a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing last week, Mnuchin said that the administration thinks that the names and dollar amounts of specific PPP loans is "proprietary information."

Those comments angered Democrats, who argued that its important for the PPP to be transparent in order to ensure that the program is not being abused. 

“The American people expect full transparency to ensure that the CARES Act’s historic investment of their taxpayer money is used wisely and effectively to save lives and livelihoods, not to be used by profiteers and price-gougers," House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Pelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement Friday.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt Schumer lashes out at Trump over 'blue states' remark: 'What a disgrace' MORE (D-N.Y.) said Friday that "the administration’s resistance to transparency is outrageous and only serves to raise further suspicions about how the funds are being distributed and who is actually benefiting.”

Democrats have expressed concerns about reports of large companies getting PPP loans while some small businesses have had difficulty in obtaining them.