Congress candidate Monica De La Cruz bashed COVID-19 aid despite taking thousands for her businesses – The Gilmer Mirror

By Matthew ChoiThe TexasTribune

Congressional candidate Monica De La Cruz bashed COVID-19 aid despite taking thousands of dollars for her businesseswas first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that educates — and engages with — Texans about public policy, politics, government and issues in the world. statewide.

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Monica De La Cruz, an incendiary Republican who competes in a fiercely competitive race in South Texas, has received thousands of dollars for her personal business interests from federal COVID relief programs despite disparaging federal aid programs like harmful to the US economy.

She is the latest to join the growing list of Republican candidates and members of Congress who have recently come under fire for touting the benefits of Democratic or bipartisan legislation they had decried and voted against. De La Cruz told the Texas Tribune that she has always supported the kinds of relief programs her businesses benefited from, but she strongly opposes major legislation that would have expanded them, saying they included unnecessary spending.

De La Cruz stood out in disclosure forms as president of JSM De La Cruz Holdings, which generated rental income for her of between $100,001 and $1 million in 2020. The company received a $1,000 Economic Disaster Grant in May 2020 as well as a $39,000 loan,

De La Cruz also co-owned Navi Business Group with her then-husband, reporting spousal income of $36,000 in 2020. The business received $4,000 Economic Disaster Grant in April 2020 and a $98,000 Economic Disaster Loan in May this year. De La Cruz and her husband have since separated in a bitter divorce involving allegations against her of abusive behavior towards her daughter. De La Cruz denied the allegations.

Two years later during a candidate forum in January, De La Cruz blasted President Joe Biden’s pandemic relief package, the US bailout, as causing “higher prices” and the “destruction of small businesses.” The American Rescue Plan Act has earmarked $15 billion for the Economic Disaster Loan Program.

Another De La Cruz company, DLC Insurance, was approved for a $38,552 loan under the Paycheck Protection Program on April 29, 2020, intended to support five jobs within the company. But the business was ultimately shut down during the pandemic, according to a March report from NBC News. De La Cruz, who listed her title as company president on the disclosure forms, reported manufacturing $44,600 in income from DLC Insurance that year. The PPP loan was cancelled, including interest.

Calls from the Texas Tribune to a number listed with its insurance agency went unanswered.

On his campaign website, De La Cruz is operating on a platform of stopping “incentivizing able-bodied adults out of work,” implementing “universal, enforceable work requirements for welfare,” and to work “with businesses to move people from welfare to work to address our labor shortage. She also opposes Democratic social spending legislation, citing fears it could drive up inflation.

The PPP was one of the main relief elements of the CARES Act, a mammoth pandemic response package signed by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 as millions of Americans stopped going to work in person. . Trump signed another COVID-19 relief package in December of that year, which De La Cruz criticized in a Facebook post and comments as surprising and “very sad”.

“I’m surprised Trump signed this,” she wrote on social media, criticizing aspects of the bill that allocated funds to other countries.

“Monica De La Cruz raged over Texas small business relief funding, but what she didn’t mention was that she and her family luckily took nearly $200,000 from this same help for themselves. His hypocritical ‘Help me, but not for you’ agenda is politics at its worst and South Texans deserve better,” said Monica Robinson, spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

De La Cruz countered to the Tribune that such claims are “nothing more than another desperate attempt by the far left to smear me.”

“Like many others, my small business received PPP loans to help us stay open and afloat during the pandemic. I have always supported programs like this to help small businesses, while pointing out that the Democrats’ so-called U.S. bailout spending bill was wasting far too much taxpayers’ money on unnecessary items and causing higher inflation,” she said.

At the start of the pandemic, De La Cruz was running against the U.S. Representative. Vicente Gonzalez in Congressional District 15, ultimately losing in a close race to the moderate member. This year she faces progressive newcomer and fellow small businesswoman Michelle Vallejo, who operates on a progressive populist platform and has also faced her own financial scrutiny after failing to declare more than $200,000. of assets in its financial disclosure report, CQ Roll Call reported last month. Vallejo’s campaign submitted an amended disclosure taking into account information “inadvertently left out of the original filing,” his campaign spokesperson told CQ Roll Call.

The CD-15 race is Texas’ most competitive race, with no incumbent after Gonzalez opted to run in the newly remodeled 34th congressional district, previously held by Rep. Filemon Vela. National Republicans have also poured money into South Texas to overthrow the historically Democratic region, touching on the region’s proximity to the border and its religious and social conservatism.

Disclosure: The Texas Tribune, as a local nonprofit and small business newsroom, applied for and received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program in the amount of $1,116,626.


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This article originally appeared in The Texas Grandstand at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/08/22/monica-de-la-cruz-ppp-pandemic-loans/.

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