Senate passes extension of Paycheck Protection Program till August 8, hours forward of deadline

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The transfer to maintain the applying course of for this system open comes because it was set to run out with greater than $130 billion in allotted funds that stay unused. The program was designed to supply small enterprise loans to bridge the shutdowns and assist companies preserve workers of their jobs — and in flip, the loans taken out could be forgiven, primarily shifting right into a grant.

More than 4.Eight million small enterprise homeowners have utilized this system, which was designed as a bridge for firms to keep up their payrolls by way of the worst of the pandemic.

While it confronted a rocky rollout and dozens of shifting and new guidelines in its preliminary levels, greater than $520 billion has been deployed to maintain small companies afloat.

Tuesday’s extension got here as a shock, even to Democrats who pressured the motion on the ground. While there had been discussions about transferring the deadline, there have been no substantive strikes in direction of settlement on one till shortly earlier than it really reached the ground.

“The resources are there, the need is there, we just need to change the date,” Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the highest Democrat on the Small Business Committee, mentioned on the Senate flooring.

The invoice, proposed by Senate Democrats, was handed by unanimous consent.

The Democratic-led House would nonetheless have to act on the extension.

That cash has turn into central to negotiations over the subsequent spherical of small enterprise help, which has been topic of bipartisan discussions during the last a number of days.

Cardin famous the extension traces up with the top of the subsequent Senate work interval — which is identical timeline Senate Republicans have set to finish the subsequent spherical of stimulus.

Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio of Florida, the lead Republican negotiator, mentioned he had no objections to the extension, “but the vast majority of small business that wanted to benefit from the program have already used it.”

“What we really need to pass very soon is targeted help for those who need a second round of aid,” Rubio tweeted Tuesday evening.

The extension does not put an finish to the continuing talks — and given the relative lack of curiosity within the $660 billion program in current weeks based mostly on complete mortgage information, the prolonged time interval is unlikely to sap the obtainable funds.

But it could preserve the central federal lifeline to small companies open as lawmakers search settlement on subsequent steps.

This story has been up to date with further developments.

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