Devin Nunes’ winery, yacht clubs, a resort in West Virginia owned by its governor – here’s who got PPP loans
WASHINGTON – Rep. Devin Nunes’ wineries, yacht clubs, lobby firms and a resort in West Virginia owned by Gov. Jim Justice were among the companies that received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans designed to help small businesses hit by coronavirus shutdowns, according to federal data released Monday.
The Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department released the names of more than 60,000 businesses that received $150,000 or up to the $10 million maximum from the small-business lending program. The loans are forgiven if they are used for payroll, rent, utility costs or mortgage interest. SBA rules require that 60% be used for payroll costs to be forgiven.
The loans benefited a wide variety of firms across the country, including restaurant franchises, athletic organizations, nonprofit groups and strip clubs. Among them:
- Wineries partly owned by Rep. Nunes, R-Calif. Nunes listed on his 2018 public financial disclosure forms roles as a limited partner with investments in Phase 2 Cellars in San Luis Obispo, California, and Alpha Omega Winery in Saint Helena, California. The PPP data shows the wineries received loans of $1 million to $2 million.
- Planned Parenthood chapters across the country received loans, drawing the ire of conservatives. Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York received $2 million to $5 million.
- A Scranton, Pennsylvania, law firm employing the wife of Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., as a partner. The Munley law firm, where Marion Munley is a partner, received $350,000 to $1 million.
- A firm linked to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul. EDI Associates, based in San Rafael, California, received $350,000 to $1 million. Pelosi disclosed her husband’s partnership income from the firm in a financial disclosure filing in 2018. Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill told USA TODAY Paul Pelosi was “a minor, passive investor” with an 8.1% stake in the firm and “was not involved in or even aware of this PPP loan.”
- A resort owned by West Virginia Gov. Justice, a Republican. Justice’s family-controlled company owns a resort complex, the Greenbrier, and the adjacent residential complexes. The data showed loans of $5 million to $10 million for the Greenbrier Hotel Corp., one of only nine companies in the state to receive loans as large. The Greenbrier Sporting Club, the residential complexes, received $1 million to $2 million.
- A shipping company run by the family of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Foremost Group received $350,000 to $1 million. Chao does not have any financial involvement in the company.
- Lobbying and policy group Waxman Strategies, which is run by former Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and his son Michael, which received a loan of $350,000 to $1 million.
- Policy firms Precision Strategies and Albright Stonebridge Group. Precision Strategies, a liberal-aligned firm, received $1 million to $2 million but announced Monday it had paid back the loan. Albright Stonebridge Group, which is co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, received $2 million to $5 million.
- Girl Scout chapters across the country received loans. The Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey, Jersey Shore and Northern New Jersey all received loans of $350,000 to $1 million.
- The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Michigan and the South Carolina Yacht Club on Hilton Head Island. The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club received $1 million to $2 million, and the South Carolina Yacht Club received $150,000 to $350,000.
The federal government reported loan amounts only in ranges, not exact amounts. The majority of the names of businesses that received funding were not released to the public. The federal government redacted the names of businesses that received less than $150,000 in loans.
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Before the release of the data Monday, three members of Congress said they or their spouses had received PPP loans: Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas; Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; and Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., has a husband who is a vice president of Fiesta Restaurant Group, a publicly traded firm that received two loans totaling $15 million. Both loans have been returned.
USA TODAY reported Monday on several other members of Congress whose businesses or businesses linked to the members received loans, including:
- Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., whose car dealerships received three loans of $350,000 to $1 million.
- Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., whose company held in a family trust controlling five McDonald’s franchises received $1 million to $2 million.
- Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., whose plumbing and contracting firms received four loans totaling $800,000 to $2 million.
- Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga., whose construction company in Augusta received $350,000 to $1 million
- Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., whose husband’s former law firm Lowey Dannenberg received $1 million to $2 million. Her husband, Stephen, is listed as chairman emeritus on the firm’s website and is retired. Lowey spokesperson Evan Hollander said Stephen Lowey has “no managerial or economic interest” in the firm.
Spokespeople for Mullin, Hern and Kelly said the lawmakers were not involved in the daily operations of their businesses.
Contributing: Ledyard King
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