Sen. Rubio Urges Trump Administration To Protect Worker Interests With Paycheck Protection Program

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Association Administrator Jovita Carranza, urging them to prioritize the interests of workers in their administration of the paycheck protection program.

Rubio, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, wrote in a letter obtained by the Daily Caller that any company which received a loan of more than $2 million “should demonstrate” that they did not lay off employees after receiving the loan. (RELATED: The Evolution Of Marco Rubio: From Foreign Policy Hawk To Spokesman For A Worker-Friendly GOP)

“Given the amount of uncertainty surrounding borrower certification, I would support a broad declaration that all loans under $2 million will be presumed to have been applied for in good faith. This would ensure that over 99 percent of borrowers can be certain that they were eligible for the loan,” Rubio wrote.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) talks to reporters following a classified national security briefing of the U.S. Senate on developments with Iran after attacks by Iran on U.S. forces in Iraq, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., Jan. 8, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) talks to reporters following a classified national security briefing of the U.S. Senate  at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., Jan. 8, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

“My view is that at a minimum, the very small percentage of loan recipients over the threshold the Administration has set for a presumption of good faith should demonstrate that they did not reduce their employment,” the senator continued.”If a business took a loan and still laid off workers, then it should be presumed that they did not apply for the loan to maintain payroll, but rather as a source of credit on highly favorable terms for a firm of their size.”

Rubio made clear that he believes the program was intended to help businesses keep workers on the payroll in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

“The Paycheck Protection Program has already saved tens of millions of jobs. In its second round of funding, millions of the smallest businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors have now been able to obtain funding through this program,” Rubio wrote. “As the Administration continues to implement the program, I believe that a faithful interpretation of statute to equate need with employee retention would be supported by Congress and justified by the needs of the crisis.”

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