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News from U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
For Immediate Release: September 9, 2005
Contact: Chris Chichester, 202-228-5843

Plans Investigation Of How The Loan Program Was Exploited

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, issued the following statement in response to media reports on the Supplemental Terrorist Activity Relief Act:

“The apparent widespread abuse of loans provided through the Supplemental Terrorist Activity Relief Act is nothing short of an outrage. This legislation was passed by Congress in January, 2002 to provide assistance to those Americans whose lives and businesses were economically damaged by the September 11th attacks. It was not passed to grant low-interest loans to liquor stores, donut shops, dog boutiques and perfume shops located hundreds and thousands of miles away from Ground Zero, with no relation to, or damage from, the terrorist attacks.

“Congress must seek and find answers when confronted with a situation that represents a possible betrayal of the public trust – especially at a time when the people of the Gulf Region need every resource available to recover.

“As the current Chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I intend to exert my oversight power to determine how such flagrant abuse could happen and to ensure that Small Business Administration loans truly go to those who need them. I will be contacting the SBA Administrator about my concerns and will be investigating this staggering exploitation of this loan program. Many questions must be answered by the parties involved, including the banks who granted the loans, beginning with: How and why was this allowed to happen?”


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