Add a federal guard investigation to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s growing list of problems.
Brian D. Miller, the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, is seeking notices from the Treasury Department from Cruz’s office requesting changes to a loan program that was ultimately changed in favor of the Republican’s big financiers.
In addition to the correspondence, Miller asked the Treasury Department to explain the reason for the changes it made to the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program, which provided loans to companies financially damaged by the pandemic.
The letter appears as an attachment from the inspectors latest quarterly report to the congress.
The request comes when Cruz is facing one separate investigation by the ethics committee of the Senate whether his false claims of electoral fraud helped ignite the January 6th Capitol insurrection. Other Capitol Hill lawmakers have called for his resignation after the mob attack that killed five people.
At the heart of the Special Inspector General’s investigation are changes to the Main Street Lending Program shortly after Cruz wrote to Chairman Jerome Powell and former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin last spring urging them to expand it to oil and gas companies.
A Wall Street Journal detection highlighted potential conflicts of interest between Cruz and Texas oil billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks, both of whom were instrumental in his campaigns. One of the brothers’ fracking operations received a $ 35 million aid loan after the program was expanded at Cruz’s request.
“While the latest coverage does not allege any wrongdoing, it concerns the management of the investments made by the Secretary under the CARES program [Act] – a core area of responsibility for the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, ”Miller wrote in his letter to the Treasury Department.
In one Declaration to the public radio station KERA. in Dallas, Cruz spokeswoman Maria Jeffrey Reynolds defended the changes proposed by the senator, saying they had helped bail out small and medium-sized oil companies in Texas.
“The result of his leadership was a program that has helped about 25 US energy producers, including about a dozen in Texas, and has helped protect over 300,000 oil and gas jobs in Texas,” she told the broadcaster.
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