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Mnuchin is Keeping $500 Billion in Bailout Funds Secret

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Executive Vice President, Public Citizen

Steven Mnuchin Swearing In

Note: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Congress Wednesday that the Trump administration intends to keep secret the names of the businesses that have received more than $500 billion in COVID-19 bailout funds through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), claiming the information is “confidential.”

Even by the Trump administration’s infinitesimally low standards for accountability and oversight, this announcement was jaw-dropping.

Making sure trillions in tax dollars go to workers, not profiteers, begins with knowing where it goes. What are they hiding? Are massive corporations masquerading as small businesses receiving funds? Are President Donald Trump and Mnuchin’s pals getting money when they shouldn’t be? These are questions that need to be answered, and the only way to do that is through complete transparency.

The PPP loans are intended to help small businesses, and without a deep understanding of recipient data, there is no way to know if Main Street businesses are getting what they need.

Trump and Mnuchin must release the list of recipients immediately.