May 06, 2020

ICYMI: Manchin Supported Bill To Increase Transparency, Accountability Of COVID-19 Small Business Relief Efforts

Charleston, WV – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) supported efforts to pass the Transparency and Oversight of COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Act by unanimous consent on the Senate floor. The Transparency and Oversight of COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Act would require the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide Congress and the public with timely, detailed data on the agency’s COVID-19 small business relief programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan & Emergency Advances (EIDL), and other debt relief efforts.

“I continue to hear from small businesses across West Virginia who are having issues navigating the SBA process during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is unacceptable. My legislation would have increased transparency and accountability for the COVID-19 pandemic small business relief efforts through the SBA. The Transparency and Oversight of COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Act would provide information on the SBA’s small business relief programs and ensure that our small businesses receive the support and help they need to stay afloat during this pandemic that has forced many businesses to close their doors. While this effort did not pass yesterday, I will not stop fighting until West Virginia businesses have the support they need,” said Senator Manchin.

The Transparency and Oversight of COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Act would require the Administration to provide Congress and the public with timely, detailed data on the COVID-19 small business relief programs. Specifically, the bill would require the Administration to:

  • Issue a daily report detailing total loans and grants approved and disbursed in PPP, the EIDL and Emergency Grants Programs, and the Debt Relief Program, as well as total remaining funds available and an estimate of when the funds will be depleted;
  • Release a weekly report detailing the lending trends in the program broken down by geography, demographics, loan sizes, industry, lender type; and lender and broker fees;
  • Make the data on these programs available to the public in a standardized and downloadable format, including information SBA currently publishes such as names and addresses of the businesses, nonprofits, and lenders, the loan or grant amounts;
  • Clarify that sensitive personal information of recipients such as social security numbers is protected; and,
  • Provide Congress with a report showing how SBA and Treasury are using the $2.7 billion in administrative funding appropriated to the agencies to identify and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the programs and implement the programs.

The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to submit a report to Congress evaluating if the Administration’s implementation of the provisions effectively reached underbanked and underserved borrowers, including a comprehensive review of the daily and weekly data, and compare PPP lending and processes by top banks to mission lenders.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here

To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.