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Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations Hearing with SBA Inspector General Shines Light on SBA Mismanagement and Fraud

Subcommittee Hearing Recap

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations Chairman Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) held a hearing titled “Office of Inspector General Reports to Congress on Investigations of SBA Programs.” Subcommittee Chairman Van Duyne issued the following statement after concluding today’s hearing.

“Today’s hearing was an important step in our continued oversight of the Small Business Administration. We exposed the SBA’s blatant disregard for common sense guardrails in pandemic relief programs, and the agency’s utter contempt for American taxpayers and small businesses. I thank Inspector General Ware for joining us today and look forward to continuing our work to recoup stolen funds,” said Subcommittee Chairman Van Duyne. “The American people deserve better, and we will continue to hold the Small Business Administration accountable for its ineptitude.”


Below are some key excerpts from today’s hearing:

Chairman Van Duyne: “On April 27, 2022, the SBA decided to formally end collections on remaining defaulted PPP loans of outstanding balances of $100,000 or less. Your office noted in a September 2022 report that this decision lacked evidentiary supports, and do you still stand by that analysis?” Inspector General Ware: “Thanks for the question. I definitely stand by my analysis. I feel strongly that there are many steps that could be taken, and I believe it sends a detrimental message for any future emergency programs, or any programs period across the government.”

Rep. Luetkemeyer: “In some of our previous conversations that we talked about were the fintech companies that were kind of the main problem children in the PPP program. And it’s very concerning because of the SBA now is trying to enlarge the number of entities that can make 7(a) loans to include fintech companies. To me, this is very concerning. Whenever we saw in the PPP program that the banks and credit unions were basically the good actors and the real problem children were the fintech companies and there’s about a handful of them. Do you have concerns about this program being expanded, the 7(a) program, to include more fintech companies?” Inspector General Ware: “Thank you. I have concerns of any type.”

Chairman Van Duyne: “In another questionable decision, the SBA has evidently also decided to end collections on COVID Emergency and Disaster Loans, COVID EIDL, under $100,000, which makes up approximately $71 billion of the $303.6 billion COVID EIDL loan portfolio. Unlike PPP loans, most of which were able to be forgiven if certain criteria were met, COVID EIDL loans were meant to be repaid. So, the SBA has not said how many loans are in repayment or experiencing issues with repayment. Do you agree with this decision to not collect on COVID EIDL loans under $100,000?” Inspector General Ware: “I definitely don’t agree with that stance. Now, I’m pretty public with that. And I’m internally public with that as well in my discussions.”