Lydia DePillis

Reporter

Photo of Lydia DePillis

Lydia DePillis joined ProPublica in 2019. Before that, she covered national economics issues for CNN Business, Texas’ economy for the Houston Chronicle, labor and the workplace for The Washington Post, and the business, culture and politics of the technology industry for The New Republic. DePillis was also previously a real estate columnist for the Washington City Paper, where she authored its award-winning Housing Complex blog. Her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Pacific Standard, Slate and various trade publications. She’s from Seattle, and is based in New York.

Hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places

An online lending platform called Kabbage sent 378 pandemic loans worth $7 million to fake companies (mostly farms) with names like “Deely Nuts” and “Beefy King.”

The Federal Government Will Now Give PPP Loans to Borrowers in Bankruptcy

Thousands of companies working their way out of bankruptcy are now eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program after ProPublica reported that the Small Business Administration had been excluding them.

How a Federal Agency Excluded Thousands of Viable Businesses From Pandemic Relief

The Small Business Administration refuses to give pandemic relief loans to people who have filed for bankruptcy, even if their businesses can survive.

How the Pandemic Economy Could Wipe Out a Generation of Black-Owned Businesses

Danette Wilder spent years building up her company. Now it has to survive an existential threat to Black entrepreneurs.

The IRS Cashed Her Check. Then the Late Notices Started Coming.

A mountainous backlog of paperwork at the IRS continues to wreak havoc on America’s tax collection system — which especially hurts lower-income filers.

Twitter and YouTube Banned Steve Bannon. Apple Still Gives Him Millions of Listeners.

Steve Bannon broadcasts election denialism and apocalyptic calls to action several times a day via Apple’s podcast app. He’s not the only one using the platform to spread claims that became a rallying cry of the mob that threatened the Capitol.

The SEC Undermined a Powerful Weapon Against White-Collar Crime

Now the lawyer who wrote the rules that gave Wall Street insiders a big financial incentive to report crimes to the SEC is suing the government for changing them.

Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready.

Insurrectionists made no effort to hide their intentions, but law enforcement protecting Congress was caught flat-footed.

The Trump Administration’s Final Push to Make It Easier for Religious Employers to Discriminate

Last-minute policies on religious freedom clear the way for employers to hire on the basis of faith. Some of the changes won't be easy for Biden to undo.

Who Biden Is Putting in Power

Here’s ProPublica’s running list of Joe Biden’s picks to run the federal government.

How Dozens of Trump’s Political Appointees Will Stay in Government After Biden Takes Over

Documents show that officials appointed by Trump who’d otherwise lose their jobs under Biden have been approved for permanent positions in federal agencies.

Tracking the Trump Administration’s “Midnight Regulations”

The administration is rushing to implement dozens of policy changes in its final days. We’re following some of the most consequential and controversial.

Judge Orders the Release of Data on Emergency Loans for Small Businesses

A consortium of news organizations, including ProPublica, has won a legal fight against the Small Business Administration. It will now have to publicly release the names of borrowers who got government pandemic loans.

Una clave que podría decidir la elección: si el Partido Republicano logra impedir que los votantes subsanen boletas rechazadas

Muchos estados permiten a los votantes corregir y entregar de nuevo las boletas que fueron rechazadas por razones técnicas. Se llama “subsanar” votos, y el partido Republicano está intentado impedir que se cuenten porque podrían ayudar a Biden a ganar.

Whether the GOP Can Stop Voters From Legally Fixing Rejected Mail-In Ballots Could Decide the Election

Many states allow voters to fix and resubmit ballots rejected for technical reasons. It’s called “curing” votes, and the GOP is trying to prevent them from being counted because they could help Biden win.

Millions Still Haven’t Gotten Stimulus Checks, Including Many Who Need Them Most

As many as 12 million Americans didn’t get their stimulus payment. Usually it’s because their income was too low. Here’s what they can do: Apply through the government’s glitchy platform (if they even qualify), and do so before Nov. 21.

Robert Lighthizer Blew Up 60 Years of Trade Policy. Nobody Knows What Happens Next.

Trump’s trade representative joined the administration with one mission: Bring factory jobs back from overseas. The results so far? Endless trade wars, alienated allies, and a manufacturing recession.

The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save

Girish Patel doubts his small, 20-year-old shop will survive the pandemic economy. Thirty stories above, aerospace company TransDigm has sustained eye-popping profits thanks to steep layoffs and raised over a billion with help from the U.S. government.

The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses were temp agencies. Many have been able to turn the government loans into profits.

Inside One Huge Company’s (Mostly) Successful Campaign to Escape Trump’s Tariffs

Minnesota-based company Polaris has lobbied relentlessly to get out of tariffs. Its CEO donated to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who later advocated for the company. And it has leveraged support from several others in Congress and the administration.

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