On July 4, 2020, President Trump signed the PPP Extension Act, extending the application deadline for PPP to August 8, 2020.
Just a few hours before a June 30 expiration deadline, the U.S. Senate approved by unanimous consent to extend the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program to August 8, as reported by the Washington Post. For the extension to go into effect, the U.S. House of Representatives would need to pass the legislation and send it to President Trump for his signature. Currently, both chambers of Congress are set to adjourn for a two-week recess at the end of this week.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who chairs the Small Business Committee, said he has no objections to extending the application deadline but did argue that “the vast majority of the small business that wanted to benefit from the program have already used it,” The Hill noted.
Small Business Committee ranking member Sen. Ben Cardin told The Hill that there needs to be another round of small-business help. That said, he noted that extending the application period to the August recess allows lawmakers to work on another coronavirus bill this month.
This month, Senate Democrats, including Sen. Cardin, introduced the “Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act,” legislation that would authorize new lending under PPP to small businesses of 100 employees or fewer, including sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals. Eligible businesses must have already expended an initial PPP loan, or be on pace to exhaust the funding, and must demonstrate a revenue loss of 50 percent or more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would extend the application deadline for initial PPP loans from June 30 to December 30, or longer, at the discretion of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and would use existing PPP funding to make P4 loans.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have begun drafting their own COVID-19 legislation as well, as reported by The Hill. However, Republicans aren’t expected to begin negotiating the bill among their caucus until they return from a two-week break on July 20, the Hill article noted. It’s also not clear whether Senate Republicans believe another relief package is necessary.