House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among the lawmakers linked to business interests that profited from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
A Pelosi spokesman said the Democrat’s husband, Paul, is a small investor in the company that owns the El Dorado Hotel in Sonoma, located in northern California’s wine country, according to an Associated Press report published by SFGate.
Paul Pelosi owns 8.1 percent in the company, EDI Associates, which amounts to somewhere between $250,000 to $500,000, Pelosi’s office said.
“Mr. Pelosi is a minor, passive investor in this company,” Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff to the House speaker, told the AP. “He was not involved in or even aware of this PPP loan.”
EDI Associates was loaned between $350,000 and $1 million.
To the watchdog group Common Cause, the prospect of lawmakers benefitting so directly from a program intended to help American businesses survive the coronavirus lockdowns doesn’t encourage voter trust.
“It certainly looks bad and smells bad,” Common Cause spokesman Aaron Scherb told the AP.
As of June 30, the Treasury Department has loaned out $521 billion. To date, it has only identified companies that were loaned more than $150,000.
AP’s review of the recipients shows that a shipping business started by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s family received a loan. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
According to the AP, Foremost Maritime Co. was founded by Chao’s parents. Her sister runs the New York-based company, which received between $350,000 and $1 million.
“Neither my wife, nor I, have anything to do with that business and didn’t know anything about it,” McConnell told the AP.
Car dealerships owned by Republican Reps. Roger Williams of Texas, Vern Buchanan of Florida and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania received loans, as did fast-food franchises owned by Republican Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. A farming equipment business owned by the family of Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri was also loaned money.
Democrats who were linked to businesses receiving PPP loans included Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, whose husband’s law firm received a loan, and Rep. Matt Cartwright, of Pennsylvania, whose wife works at the law firm he formerly worked for and which received a loan.
Democratic Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada is under scrutiny over two PPP loan to Full House Resorts, of which both Lee and her husband own millions of dollars in stock and options. The company received a total of $5.6 million in loans, according to the AP.
Lee faces a complaint from the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, which claims she tried to manipulate the Small Business Administration into allowing the gaming sector to be eligible for loans.
“Conflict of interest laws are some of the oldest and most important ethics laws on the books,” FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold told Fox News in a June 12 article.
“This appears to be a fairly straightforward violation — Lee couldn’t be any more directly tied to the company through both her own and her husband’s interests, and she advocated for regulatory changes that would, and in fact did, benefit the company. The OCE [Office of Congressional Ethics] needs to thoroughly investigate this case as soon as possible.”
Posted by THE Western Journal