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White House press secretary’s parents received millions in PPP loans

She's criticized 'welfare recipients' before.

Jul 9, 2020, 8:48 am*

Tech

Eric Levai 

Eric Levai

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s parents received millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, according to data released by the Small Business Administration this week.

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The data was released Monday after government accountability experts and journalists, concerned about the program’s lack of transparency and secrecy, pressured Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to make it publicly available.

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McEnany Roofing, a commercial roofing company in Florida owned by McEnany’s parents, Michael and Leanne McEnany, received somewhere between $1–2 million dollars from PPP.

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Because the SBA will not release loan details, the exact figure could not be determined.

PPP was created by Congress as part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, and implemented by the executive branch, to assist small businesses in navigating the economic crisis brought on by coronavirus.

According to program rules, as long as the money is used to pay employees, and for rent and utilities, the government will forgive the entire loan.

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McEnany Roofing appears to employ close to 30 people in its corporate offices, according to its website, and the number of total employees could not be determined. 

According to the loan data, McEnany Roofing said it employs 141 people.

In an interview with Fox News back in April, McEnany noted that the program was designed to go to companies with 10 or fewer employees.

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“The vast majority, as I noted, 1 million of the 1.6 million loans that went out, were companies with 10 or fewer employees. That is what this program is designed to do, that is who it is helping,” she told Ed Henry.

When asked about the lack of transparency of the program, she noted that “We’re concerned with getting money to people right now. I mean, look, we’re not concerned with cobbling a list together to please the media.”

Because SBA did not release specific details about loan data, there was no immediate way to determine where the money McEnany Roofing received was spent. 

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Since the data’s release, ethical questions raised by government watchdogs and journalists have exposed members of Congress, billionaires like Kanye West, and families of executive branch officials like Secretary Of Transportation Elaine Chao receiving PPP loans.

Kayleigh McEnany has previously criticized government assistance, saying in 2018 that, “it was exactly right that welfare recipients should feel enough shame to motivate themselves off of government assistance” according to Media Matters.

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McEnany Roofing and McEnany did not respond to requests for comment.

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*First Published: Jul 9, 2020, 7:58 am