WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement after the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The data shows loans went to a range of businesses and organizations, including lobbying firms, law firms and high-dollar hedge funds, political groups, including the Florida Democratic Party, private schools, news organizations and big restaurant chains, as well as a chain of luxury restaurants and boutique hotels co-owned by Robert De Niro.
Senator Rick Scott said, “The Paycheck Protection Program has helped so many businesses in Florida and across the nation stay afloat during this unimaginable time, but for months, I’ve called for reforms to the program to make sure taxpayer money goes to those who truly need it. I sounded the alarm about businesses with thousands of employees finding loopholes to qualify for these loans meant for small businesses. I was also concerned about companies that were seeing no downturn in their business taking money meant for those suffering during the pandemic. Now, we can clearly see the abuse. Businesses and organizations that didn’t need taxpayer money took it simply because they could.
“Just last week, I proposed an amendment to the PPP program to make sure that these loans only go to businesses that show a substantial reduction in revenue due to the coronavirus. Common sense, right? Not to my Democrat colleagues who rejected it. Too many in Washington believe that government waste is inevitable - it’s just the cost of doing business. I don’t accept that. This is taxpayer money, and we can’t afford to waste it. We can’t allow a government bailout of huge corporations and we can’t accept that taxpayer money is going to businesses that haven’t been hurt by this crisis. We have to step up and fight for reform and to make sure those individuals and small businesses hurt by the coronavirus are getting the help they need. I am also calling on the Treasury Department and SBA to release the full list of PPP loan recipients so we can see exactly where taxpayer money is going.”