June 25, 2020 / 10:48 PM / 11 days ago

U.S. agencies to give Congress full data on coronavirus small business loans -letter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury secretary and the head of the Small Business Administration told lawmakers on Thursday they intend to give congressional committees full access to loan-level Paycheck Protection Program data, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The Trump administration officials said in the letter they expect to give the committees access to the full data by the end of next week, a move that comes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin previously resisted calls for greater transparency of the coronavirus stimulus funds.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have said it is difficult to appropriately guide government aid during the pandemic without knowing where the money is going.

The release of full access to congressional committees goes further than what the agencies have promised they will publicly disclose. Mnuchin agreed to release some data earlier this month after coming under bipartisan fire for saying that revealing which the identities of businesses that took funds could be “confidential” and “proprietary”.

That public data will include business names, addresses, demographic information and loan amount ranges representing 75% of the loan dollars approved.

The fuller data being shared with Congress will include all borrower names and loan amounts. It will also be sent to Government Accountability Office, the letter signed by Mnuchin and Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza said.

Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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