During Senate testimony on May 19, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured legislators he had been transparent about how he was spending taxpayer dollars to support small businesses struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic — despite controversies that the well connected were often first in line for funding. Last Wednesday, Mnuchin returned to the Senate and reversed himself. He said he had decided not to release the names of recipients of Paycheck Protection Program money or how much they’ve received.
At the same hearing last week, Jovita Carranza, the director of the Small Business Administration, said that 45% of PPP funds went to businesses in “low-income areas.” It’s not clear how Carranza is defining “low-income areas” or whether what she said is even true because, again, she and Mnuchin aren’t disclosing enough public information to gauge their programs’ effectiveness.
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