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Planned Parenthood Invited To Return Payroll Protection Program Funds

Republican senators, together with Marco Rubio, of Florida, are calling for an investigation after Deliberate Parenthood associates acquired hundreds of thousands of dollars in Paycheck Safety Act funds.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Which organizations ought to get cash from federal coronavirus aid packages? Like many, Deliberate Parenthood chapters on this nation have acquired funding from the Paycheck Safety Program. A number of Republican senators now need Deliberate Parenthood to return the cash. NPR nationwide correspondent Sarah McCammon tells this story. Sarah, hey.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Howdy, Steve.

INSKEEP: What precisely have the Deliberate Parenthood chapters acquired?

MCCAMMON: So what we're speaking about is the federal mortgage program beneath what is known as the CARES Act, the one which goals to maintain small enterprise staff on the payroll throughout this disaster. Thus, small companies and small non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 workers can apply for forgivable loans. And it is very important notice that though the USA Household Planning Federation is a big nationwide group, the nationwide group says that they didn’t request these funds. As a substitute, it’s the native household planning organizations that function clinics throughout the nation that obtain the cash. And I spoke with Stephanie Fraim, the president and CEO of Deliberate Parenthood in southwest and central Florida. She says they obtained a bit over $ 2 million primarily to cowl worker pay checks.

STEPHANIE FRAIM: The financial uncertainty at the moment was deep. And the 2 weeks whereas we had been ready for this mortgage, we had very tough conversations about what we’d do if we didn't get this mortgage.

MCCAMMON: It’s due to this fact not clear how a lot Deliberate Parenthood or its affiliated teams have requested or acquired nationally. Fox Information reported and a few Republican senators repeated a determine of $ 80 million nationally. However the Small Enterprise Administration, which manages these loans, would solely say that the company doesn’t touch upon particular person debtors.

INSKEEP: OK. However in all circumstances, cash has been loaned to those sections of Deliberate Parenthood, loans they might not should repay in the event that they hold folks on the payroll, like many different companies and nonprofit organizations. However this explicit nonprofit group works to which some Republican lawmakers are ideologically opposed. What are they saying?

MCCAMMON: Okay. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, chair of the Senate Small Enterprise Committee, mentioned that Deliberate Parenthood will not be eligible for these funds beneath the foundations of this system. He needs the cash returned to him instantly. He needs the SBA, the Small Enterprise Administration, to check why and the way Deliberate Parenthood obtained the cash. And I spoke with Republican Senator James Lankford from Oklahoma, who additionally opposed it. He additionally needs Deliberate Parenthood to ship the cash.

JAMES LANKFORD: That's what the Los Angeles Lakers did. That is what Shake Shack did. That's what Chris from Ruth did. So different organizations that mentioned they shouldn't have taken the cash returned the cash. So it will be cheap for them.

MCCAMMON: And Lankford says that as a result of Deliberate Parenthood's nationwide branches have many greater than 500 workers mixed, they don't qualify. So, Steve, there’s a dispute over easy methods to interpret these guidelines. However let's not neglect, there’s a massive political aspect to this. I imply, at present it’s unlawful normally for federal funds to pay for abortion, however there was a long-standing political debate over the federal funds allotted to Deliberate Parenthood due to what this represents for the nationwide debate on abortion.

INSKEEP: And, in fact, Deliberate Parenthood has argued that it does rather more than abortions. How does Deliberate Parenthood react to the precise criticism right here?

MCCAMMON: Properly, they are saying they haven't heard from the SBA, the Small Enterprise Administration, about it. They solely know what the Republican senators are saying and what has been reported by Fox, who says that the SBA has despatched a letter to Deliberate Parenthood associates informing them that they aren’t eligible for this cash and ordering them to return it. However, once more, SBA doesn’t touch upon this.

INSKEEP: Can you perceive what the foundations really say and the way they actually apply to this explicit group?

MCCAMMON: It's laborious to say for certain, Steve. I’ve talked to some attorneys about it and I hear that there’s simply numerous confusion. Republican senators insist that Deliberate Parenthood will not be admissible beneath the foundations. Deliberate Parenthood says that every native affiliate has seemed on the program and has determined whether or not or to not request this wage assist. However many attorneys say the foundations are unclear and that they’ve modified.

INSKEEP: Sarah, thanks for the replace.

MCCAMMON: Thanks.

INSKEEP: It’s Sarah McCammon of NPR.

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