View Release on Sen. Ernst's Website HERE.

Negligent Bureaucrats Aren’t Complying with Ernst-authored Law to Disclose Costs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee and the Senate’s leading foe of wasteful spending, is calling on President Biden’s Small Business Administration (SBA) to immediately enact a law she wrote requiring a public price tag be placed on taxpayer-funded projects.

At Senator Ernst’s request, a provision was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 requiring that anything paid for with the assistance of an SBA grant clearly states:

(1) the percentage of the total costs of the program or project which will be financed with federal money;
(2) the dollar amount of federal funds for the project or program; and,
(3) the percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the project or program that non-governmental sources will finance.

However, the SBA is not currently enforcing the law.

Ernst explains, “It’s a simple concept: If the public is being asked to pay for something, taxpayers deserve to know the price. The SBA gives out more than $290 million in recurring grants a year. That’s a lot of money. Taxpayers should be able to decide for themselves if they are getting a good deal on the dollars they are sending to Washington. Right now, we have no way of doing that because negligent bureaucrats at Biden’s SBA are refusing to follow the law.

“In light of this being Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of the public’s right to know what the government is doing, I am calling on the SBA to stop keeping taxpayers in the dark and comply with the law. I know sunlight is the best disinfectant, because I’ve stopped billions of dollars of wasteful spending by shining a bright light on it, including my recent effort to force SBA to recollect billions of dollars of delinquent small business loans.”

In a letter delivered to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, Ernst writes, “SBA has a responsibility to provide guidance and monitor grantee compliance with this statute to ensure taxpayers know exactly where SBA’s funds are going. Just as SBA provides guidance on reporting standards, so too must SBA provide clear instructions on P.L. 117-328 compliance. SBA must ensure all grantees publicly display how much they are receiving in federal funding for each project,” and asks the SBA to instruct current grant recipients to comply with the law requiring disclosure of federal funding.

Read the letter here.