Gibbs Introduces Bill Forcing Political Parties to Return PPP Loans

July 30, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Bob Gibbs introduced the Stop Pilfering Everyone’s Paycheck Protection for Election Results (PEPPER) Act, a bill to require any political organization that received a loan through the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to return the loan to the federal government. Recent reports showed the Florida and Ohio Democratic parties received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer-backed funding. While Florida Democrats returned the money, Ohio Democrat Party Chair David Pepper has been recalcitrant, refusing to return the loan and using it to fund campaign and political organizing activities.

According to federal regulations, “businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities” are barred from receiving loans from the Small Business Administration, the agency administering the Paycheck Protection Program. This regulation rules organizations like the Ohio Democrat Party ineligible for PPP loans.

“At a time when millions of American workers were being laid off, businesses were struggling to stay open, and families suddenly lost income, the Ohio Democrat Party decided it was more important to violate federal regulations and bail out David Pepper,” said Congressman Gibbs. “It is clear the ODP was not eligible for this loan program, but they refuse to return the money. Every PPP dollar they illegally took is a dollar that could have gone to a struggling small business in Ohio. The Stop PEPPER Act would force the ODP and any other political organization that took PPP funds to return it to the Treasury by the end of 2020, because it shouldn’t be up to the taxpayers to bail out David Pepper because he can’t do his job.”

The text of the bill can be found here.

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