Florida Democratic Party to return $780,000 in PPP money, after bipartisan backlash

Florida Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala is reportedly among those critical of the state party taking the federal stimulus money

Updated: July 9, 2020 - 9:03am

The Florida Democratic Party will reportedly return roughly $780,000 received under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, following bipartisan backlash about accepting the money appearing unethical.

The group made the announcement Wednesday that it would return the money, a small business loan made available under the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Plan that Congress made passed this spring to help small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, according to Politico.

“Like many employers during the shutdown, FDP was concerned about meeting payroll and keeping our staff employed, so we applied,” the group said in a statement. “The bank, the loan processor and agents of the Small Business Association approved the funding. It now seems they made a mistake in approving the funding so we are volunteering to return it.

In May, party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo, reportedly called the PPP a “disaster” that “funneled” money to large corporations but failed to disclose that the group had applied for a loan of $350,000 to $1 million.

The loan agreement was discovered earlier this week when the Small Business Administration released a report on recipients.

Among the prominent Florida Democrats to purportedly criticize the state party’s decision to apply for and accept the money is Rep. Donna Shalala.

She  has demanded that the party return the money and has refused to participate in a news conference Friday about President Trump’s upcoming visit to Miami, two sources told Politico.


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