Responding to a report that 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates received a total of $80 million in small business coronavirus stimulus funding, Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday “They need to return the money.”
Rubio is the chairman of the Senate’s Small Business Committee and commented both on the Planned Parenthood affiliates’ viability for receipt of stimulus funding and on the role the Small Business Administration (SBA) might play in adjudication.
“They just don’t qualify under the affiliate rules, it’s as simple as that,” Rubio told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“Leave aside all of the other issues. They do not qualify. So they need to return the money and if they did this knowingly they need to be held accountable and whoever helped them do this needs to be held accountable — that includes potentially people on staff at the SBA.”
Rubio was responding to a Fox News report that Planned Parenthood affiliates received coronavirus stimulus package funding for small businesses even though they did not qualify. (RELATED: Pro-Life Groups, Planned Parenthood Launch Multi-Million Dollar Campaigns Heading Into 2020)
“Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt told Rubio, “The average loan that a small business got was $118,000. Look at the number that Planned Parenthood got. There are 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates that received $80 million in loans. One out in California got $7.5 million.”
“They just don’t qualify for it,” Rubio said, noting that in order for a Planned Parenthood affiliate to apply legitimately for a small business loan, it would have needed the approval of the company “parent board” located in Washington, D.C.
The senator said that Planned Parenthood’s parent board “is sitting on, according to their own numbers in 2018, close to half a billion dollars in net assets.” (RELATED: Here’s How Many Abortions Planned Parenthood Performed Within A Year)
When asked if Planned Parenthood would refuse to give the money back, Rubio responded, “Ultimately it’s now up to the SBA and the administration to pursue it … and I think a legitimate question is ‘How did this get through the SBA … How did somebody approve this knowing it violated the affiliation rules?’ It’s as simple as that and that’s the question we’re going to have to ask.”
Rubio explained that “others will have to look at how to enforce the law. Congress can’t enforce the law, but we can reveal truths and hold people accountable and we intend to.”
House Republicans have accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of using stimulus money to fund Planned Parenthood. Many states have deemed abortion to be an essential medical service.