White House officials say steps were taken to exclude Planned Parenthood from coronavirus PPP funds

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White House officials told Fox News on Thursday that steps were taken to ensure Planned Parenthood is excluded from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was set up to provide coronavirus relief funds to small businesses.

“Through the Paycheck Protection Program, President Trump is delivering vital relief to help small businesses keep employees on payroll,” a senior administration official told Fox News Thursday.  “It’s clear that the abortion industry shouldn’t be able to qualify for those funds, which are desperately needed by small businesses.”

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The Interim Final Rule (IFR) for the PPP made it clear that Small Business Administration (SBA) affiliation rules should apply to the loans, so an organization with Planned Parenthood’s corporate structure won’t qualify, according to the official.

A senior administration official told The Daily Signal that while each Planned Parenthood affiliate has fewer than 500 employees, nationwide it has over 16,000 employees.

"So when applying PPP’s affiliation rules neutrally, it’s clear that Planned Parenthood is one large employer and not eligible for PPP money," the official said.

The Paycheck Protection Program was infused with $310 billion under “Phase 3.5” of emergency funding, the CARES Act, signed by the president to provide relief while businesses are shuttered in coronavirus lockdowns. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are forgiven the principal on their loan so long as they don’t lay off employees, but employers still have to pay interest on the loan.

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In March, Planned Parenthood warned that the CARES Act in March could give the Small Business Administration the authority to exclude affiliates to its organization.

"The bill gives the Small Business Administration broad discretion to exclude Planned Parenthood affiliates and other non-profits serving people with low incomes and deny them benefits under the new small business loan program," Planned Parenthood said in a statement at the time.

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"In addition, the bill attaches a new unnecessary Hyde Amendment provision, a harmful policy that prevents people with low incomes from accessing safe and legal abortion coverage, to a state stabilization fund for providing coronavirus relief," the organization continued.

Planned Parenthood did not immediately return a request for comment from Fox News on Thursday.

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