‘Universal Stainless “is exactly the type of company which the PPP program was created to assist…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Two Democrats broke with their party and joined Republicans in declaring their support for a Pennsylvania steel company that rightly received virus rescue funds.
Rep. James Clyburn, who chairs the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and his Democratic colleagues sent letters to five publicly traded companies that accepted money from the Paycheck Protection Program, a government fund that was established to assist companies through the mandatory shutdowns.
Clyburn said Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. does not qualify for the PPP because it has more than 700 employees, is publicly traded, and “reported net sales of $243 million in 2019.”
The House subcommittee demanded that Universal Stainless return the money or release all “documents and communications” between the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department.
Reps. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, wrote a letter with Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa. in which they stated their belief that Universal Stainless “is exactly the type of company which the PPP program was created to assist.”
“Supporting steel manufacturers like Universal has the added public benefit of preventing further erosion of our domestic manufacturing base, in a sector that is inextricably linked to our national security,” the Reps. wrote.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise also responded to Clyburn’s letter.
He wrote that he disagrees with Clyburn’s interpretation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which set up the PPP.
He cited the CARES Act, which states that “Small business concerns can be eligible borrowers even if they have more than 500 employees, as long as they satisfy the existing statutory and regulatory definition of a ‘small business concern.'”
Scalise applied the same analysis to the five companies that Clyburn targeted and concluded that at least four qualify for PPP funds.
“We learned that due to current market conditions, at least four of these companies would be unable to operate or make payroll without the assistance from CARES,” Scalise wrote.