Coronavirus Updates | Latest News

Senate Begins To Address PPP “Fix”; Phase 4 Economic Recovery Package Discussions Begin

Jun 01, 2020

Senate Takes Up Narrow PPP “Fix” That Does Not Address All Business Concerns
Late last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7010, which would loosen requirements on hundreds of billions of dollars in small-business loans made through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Key PPP changes in H.R. 7010 include:
  • allowing forgiveness for expenses for up to 24 weeks, and extending the rehiring deadline;
  • increasing the current limitation on nonpayroll expenses (such as rent, utility payments and mortgage interest) for loan forgiveness from 25 to 40%;
  • extending the program from June 30 to December 31;
  • extending loan terms from two to five years; and
  • ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.

The Senate is working on a more narrow approach to addressing concerns with the PPP. S. 3833, the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, would extend the loan use period from 8 weeks to 16 weeks (less than the 24 contained in the House bill), and extend the program expiration date from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The Senate bill does not address the 75/25 requirement or 2-year loan term, both of which are critical to businesses struggling to recover from the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase Four Coronavirus Economic Recovery Package Discussions Begin
Congressional leaders in both chambers recognize that a fourth economic recovery package is needed but that is about where the agreement ends. What should be included in the next bill and when it should be considered.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell continues to insist on including liability protections for businesses reopening following the widespread shutdowns to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Some Democrats have stated that limited liability protections may be needed to protect businesses as they begin a phased reopening following public health regulations and guidelines.

A congregation of more than 200 trade groups representing industries across the country, recently sent a letter to Congress, asking for a “targeted safe harbor for those that work to follow applicable guidelines.” The state that the protection will remove the fear and uncertainty from liability threats that would slow the country’s social and economic recovery.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continue to push the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which has already passed the House and includes more direct aid to individuals, families, and front-line workers, significant relief for state and local aid and more funding for testing and tracing.