Jeff Sessions Calls for Publicly Traded Companies to Return Every Cent of Stimulus Money

Alabama Senate candidate and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is calling for publicly traded companies to return every dollar they received through the $2 trillion CARES Act Stimulus to the treasury, so that the funds can be properly dispersed to small businesses in need of economic relief.

Sessions called for the return of bailout money in a press release Thursday.

The whole purpose of the CARES Act is to prevent this historic shutdown from ending thousands of small businesses,” Sessions said. “Mom-and-pop stores have been shuttered by ‘stay at home’ orders, and big corporations are taking large sums meant for the little guy. Every one of them should return these loans immediately, and the Small Business Administration should ensure those funds go to struggling small businesses first. The plain fact is that, for many, the prompt receipt of these funds will determine whether they will still be operating in the months to come.

Sessions went on to call for stimulus funding to be expressly reserved for small businesses with less than 100 employees.

More than 200 publicly traded large companies have accessed funding through the Paycheck Protection Program, a fund set up to disperse stimulus funds to small businesses devastated by the coronavirus recession.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has clarified that publicly traded companies with access to capital aren’t supposed to have access to the program, and has asked them to return the funds they’ve received. Some have, such as the Los Angeles Lakers. Other businesses such as Harvard University have been compelled to decline millions in stimulus funding after being publicly shamed for helping themselves despite having a $40 billion endowment.

It’s time for those large companies to return those funds, and the Small Business Administration needs to get serious about ensuring that those loans go directly to small businesses first, as intended.