Congress to Investigate 9/11 Loan Abuses

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Congress will investigate the 'flagrant abuse' of a federal loan program designed to help businesses recover from the Sept. 11 attacks and make sure such problem don't occur with Hurricane Katrina relief, a key Senate Republican announced Friday. Sen. Olympia Snowe (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine, chairwoman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, announced the investigation in response to an Associated Press story Thursday that showed the federal program was so loosely managed that it gave low-interest loans to companies that didn't need terrorism relief or even know they were getting it. 'The apparent widespread abuse of loans provided through the Supplemental Terrorist Activity Relief Act is nothing short of an outrage,' Snowe said. The committee chairwoman said she would demand answers from both the banks that gave the loans and the Small Business Administration, which supervised the program. 'Congress must seek and find answers when confronted

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