House coronavirus oversight panel demands large companies repay small-business loans

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee overseeing the federal coronavirus response has settled on its first course of action: name and shame.

The 12-member committee, which Republicans reluctantly joined Thursday after musing about a boycott, has identified five large public companies that nevertheless applied for and accepted small-business loans meant to aid those struggling to survive amid the pandemic. And the lawmakers are asking them to return the funds by next week or face a long list of document demands.

“Since your company is a public entity with a substantial investor base and access to the capital markets, we ask that you return these funds immediately,” according to letters sent to each of the companies. “Returning these funds will allow truly small businesses — which do not have access to alternative sources of capital — to obtain the emergency loans they need to avoid layoffs, stay in business, and weather the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis.”

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