A firm co-owned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was among the many lawmaker-linked businesses that got Paycheck Protection Program loans, according to data released Monday.
Companies owned by or associated with Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Pa), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Rick Allen (R-Ga.) also received the coronavirus loans. Businesses linked to Reps. Roger Williams (R-Texas), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.) and Debbie Mucarsel Powell (D-Fla.) previously reported they got loans.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said that her husband Paul Pelosi is “an investor. So, he was not aware the loan was applied for.”
According to Pelosi’s mandatory disclosure forms, Paul Pelosi owns a stake of between a quarter and half-million dollars in EDI Associates, which invests in the El Dorado Hotel in Sonoma, Calif. EDI Associates got a loan between $350,000 and $1 million.
PPP loans can be converted into grants if companies with up to 500 employees, and in cases more, spend 60 percent on payroll. In two deals brokered in part by Pelosi, Congress overwhelmingly approved $670 million for the program.
Spokespeople for Kelly, whose car dealerships got between $450,000 an $1.05 million, and for Allen, whose construction firm got between $350,000 and $1 million, also said they were uninvolved in seeking loans.
Mullin, whose plumbing companies got $800,000 to $2.05 million, and Hern, whose McDonald’s franchises got between $1 million and $2 million, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Andrea Porwoll, a spokesman for Allen, said he “relinquished majority stake of the company and he and his wife no longer hold decision-making authority,” but that “our office has consulted with the U.S. House of Representatives Office of General Counsel and is confident the company, like businesses around the country impacted by COVID-19, is eligible to receive a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program after doing their due diligence and applying in good faith.”
The Small Business Administration data released Monday lists about 660,000 loan recipients, and the data may contain additional lawmaker-linked firms.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) proposed legislation this year to force disclosure of loans linked to lawmakers and their families.
The original four lawmaker-linked companies to get loans included Lee’s husband’s casino business Full House Resorts taking $5.6 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The freshman congresswoman had lobbied the SBA and Treasury Department to allow casinos to be eligible.
A car dealership owned by Williams, who is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, said it received a loan, and Hartzler disclosed that farm and equipment businesses owned by her family got about $480,000 in loans.
Mucarsel Powell’s husband works as a lawyer for the Fiesta Restaurant Group, which received $15 million in loans but returned the money when other restaurant chains came under scrutiny. Her office told news outlets he was uninvolved in the loans.
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