The data would have shown exactly where the money went, including the information on any large publicly-traded corporation that successfully applied despite not being who the funds were intended for. Critics, including many prominent legislators, specifically wondered who had taken loans for $150,000 or more.
The PPP, intended to bolster smaller businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, instead caught criticism when large portions of its billions in funds went to corporations like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House rather than to those that needed the money more. Mnuchin and other officials vowed to make sure future aid didn’t go to those too large to justify a need for funds.
Mnuchin initially said he would not release any data at all, which drew sharp criticism from Democrats and government watchdogs, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who wanted to see where the money was going.
In response, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the SBA said they’d be releasing information before the holiday weekend about 4.6 million forgivable loans issued for the program that seemed inordinately large. However, as of Sunday (July 5), no information had come. Congressional aides, speaking anonymously to Washington Post, said the information likely wouldn’t come before Monday, and there wasn’t a clear consensus on what caused the delay.
Still other critics want to see more comprehensive data. One lawsuit by 11 news organizations (including The Washington Post) calls for the business names and loan amounts of every PPP recipient to be released, and inspectors general have warned the administration that it is blocking scrutiny of the program and others related to the virus pandemic.
It’s still uncertain what form another stimulus round could take. Mnuchin has signaled his support for businesses that have been hit hard by coronavirus-related restrictions against reopening.