But as of Friday afternoon — a government holiday — the Treasury Department and SBA did not indicate any plans to release the data. Congressional aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief the press, said they don’t expect the data to be released before Monday.
It wasn’t clear what was causing the delay. Spokesmen for the Treasury Department and SBA did not return requests for comment Friday on the reason for the delay.
Although the data to be released comprises only about 15 percent of the total number of loans — though much more of the dollar value — it would be the largest disclosure yet for a program that suffered from a rocky start but that economists credit with helping limit job losses. The unemployment rate reported Thursday was 11.1 percent, down from the 14.7 percent reported for April.
At a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Mnuchin said the Treasury Department and SBA would release the data by the end of this week. His statement confirmed the time frame that he and Carranza had laid out in an earlier letter to Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Small Business Committee and a also member of the Financial Services Committee.
“We will contact your staff to discuss how best to provide access to this information in a secure format, with the expectation of providing the Committees full access by the end of the next week,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in the June 25 letter.
Mnuchin has made changing and sometimes contradictory statements about how much data will be released and when. Earlier in June, Mnuchin told Congress he would not release borrowers’ information at all, even though the SBA has long made basic information about government borrowers public and the PPP application form indicates that borrowers’ basic information will be made public.
After an outcry from Democrats and government watchdogs, Mnuchin flipped his position and agreed to the partial disclosure that the administration planned but failed to make Thursday.
Others are calling for greater disclosure than the administration’s current plan includes. A lawsuit brought by 11 news organization, including The Washington Post, seeks business names and loan amounts for all PPP recipients. Inspectors general have warned the administration that it is blocking scrutiny of coronavirus rescue programs, including the PPP.
The issue of transparency around the program is coming to a head in part because congressional leaders and the administration are working together on another round of stimulus support that could replace the PPP. Mnuchin said at the Financial Services hearing that the new round of aid could target “businesses that are most hard hit,” among them hotels and restaurants that are having difficulty reopening because of coronavirus-related restrictions.
Democrats are generally supportive of another round of economic support, but some have pressed the administration for more information on the PPP before negotiating the details of a new program. About $130 billion in PPP funds are still available, and although Congress extended the deadline to apply from June 30 to Aug. 8, whatever money remains available may be repurposed for a new program.
Velázquez told Mnuchin at the hearing that said she could not make a determination about where the program should go “unless we have access to the data.”
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated which committee Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez leads. She is chair of the House Small Business Committee, not the Financial Services Committee.