Congress Passes Short-Term Extension of PPP
The Power of A - July 1, 2020

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Both the Senate and the House passed legislation by unanimous consent this week to extend the deadline for eligible businesses to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which was scheduled to expire June 30.

The PPP, which was created to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic, has more than $130 billion in loan money unspent. The Senate and House approved extending the application period until August 8. The legislation must still be signed by President Trump. Both the House and Senate are leaving Washington this week for a two-week Fourth of July recess.

The bill only extends the deadline for applying for PPP loans, and does not expand access to the program for 501(c)(6) associations as ASAE and thousands of other associations have requested. However, with multiple parts of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act set to expire in July and new outbreaks of the coronavirus forcing states to slow down efforts to reopen their economies, legislators widely acknowledge that another large-scale COVID-19 relief package will be needed when Congress returns to Washington.

“As the scope of the financial damage done to small businesses by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns has grown, it has become clearer that longer-term support is necessary,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee. “I will continue working with [Senate colleagues] to pass additional support for our smallest businesses, especially in our underserved communities, and provide long-term recovery resources for industries particularly hit hard by this crisis.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) this week called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to begin negotiations on a new COVID-19 relief package immediately.

“The nation has seen a dramatic surge in both cases and deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a letter to McConnell. “Adding to that pain, our economy is facing one of its greatest challenges since the Great Depression. Over one-fifth of the workforce has requested unemployment assistance. Now is the time for action, not continued delays and political posturing.”