Groups linked to billionaires George Soros and the Koch brothers are now seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded small business loans in the midst of the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
While Congress has replenished a fund with $250 billion to help small businesses stay afloat while being forced to close to abide by social distancing guidelines, liberal and libertarian nonprofits linked to billionaire donors have said they are applying to obtain some of that funding.
Likewise, the libertarian FreedomWorks organization is applying for a small business loan despite their billionaire backing by the Koch brothers.
The Times reported:
The Congressional Progressive Caucus Center’s application for a $160,000 loan is awaiting resolution, as is FreedomWorks Foundation’s request for $300,000, according to officials at the groups. [Emphasis added]
The American Civil Liberties Union’s national office has not applied but 14 of its state affiliates have, and at least one received a loan — of $154,000 — so far, said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the A.C.L.U. [Emphasis added]
A “small” loan request by Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group supporting Mr. Trump’s plan to reopen the country, is still pending, said the organization’s chairman. An application from Media Matters has been hampered by a technical problem, saiSet featured imaged a person familiar with the process, who was not aware if the group had reapplied. [Emphasis added]
As the Times noted, groups like Liberty Counsel that are now seeking the small business loans helped lobby lawmakers to allow nonprofit organizations to obtain the loans.
Currently, the ACLU is leading a campaign to free felons from state prisons during the coronavirus crisis, arguing that they are not safe in law enforcement custody. The ACLU’s initiative has led to thousands of inmates being released from prison in recent months.
On Friday, President Trump’s administration issued guidelines making clear that hedge funds and private equity firms are not eligible to receive the small business loan.