Sen. Marco Rubio Wednesday called for allowing businesses receiving money through the Paycheck Protection Program to be given more than eight weeks to spend the funds because of how the coronavirus crisis has continued to unroll.
"Some people are saying we can't fund payrolls in eight weeks; we need 12 or 16 weeks," the Florida Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends."
"Everybody agrees this crisis has evolved and has become a different type of crisis because it's different rules in different places. We need to provide more time for people to use that money as opposed to having to return it. What's the point if they use it for payroll."
Rubio said that he wonders if the extension can be passed as a clean bill, or "if Democrats or someone else will insist that we add something else to it beyond just that provision."
However, he said Democrats also have said they agree on extending the timeframe, so he wants to revise the bill to allow a clean provision, as some businesses that got money early are coming up on the deadline for using it.
Rubio also criticized Planned Parenthood after Fox News reported the agency was able to obtain $80 million in the PPP grant money through registering several affiliates as individual companies.
"The parent board, the one located in Washington, D.C., is sitting on, according to their own numbers in 2018, close to half a billion dollars in net assets . . . they just don't qualify under the affiliate rules it's as simple as that," said Rubio.
If the money is not returned, then it will be up to the Small Business Administration and the Trump administration to pursue the matter, the senator said.
"I think the question is, how did this get through the SBA?" said Rubio. "How did somebody approve this knowing it violated the affiliation rules? They do not qualify for this loan and I'm glad the administration jumped on it."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.