Senator Rubio to present an amendment to change the extension of the House PPP
The paycheck protection program is expected to expire at the end of the month – and although the House has already passed a bill to extend the program, the Senate has yet to pass it. The upper house is expected to consider the extension this week.
The House bill would allow business owners to apply for forgivable loans until May 31 instead of March 31 and would give the Small Business Administration until June 30 to process the loans.
Senator Marco Rubio (R., Florida) told Yahoo Finance he believes Congress will extend the program before the end of the month, but would like to see changes in the House bill. If the Senate were to amend the bill, the House would have to retake it.
“I don’t want us to punish, you know, a small business that needs help because of a political fight here,” Rubio said in an interview.
Earlier this month, Rubio and several other Republican senators introduced a bill to expand the agenda and ban the SBA from prioritizing some candidates over others. Rubio’s office said it plans to introduce the bill as an amendment to the extension passed by the House.
There have been more and more calls to extend the program after President Biden changed the rules of the program – making sole proprietors eligible for more money, granting a two-week application window specifically for those with more money. small business and ensuring the eligibility of small business owners with delinquent student loans, non-citizen business owners who are legal residents of the United States, and business owners who have non-fraudulent felony convictions.
Rubio told Yahoo Finance he was concerned the administration would change the program without involving Congress.
“What it starts to do is it starts to create partisan rifts… for a program that has enjoyed bipartisan support,” Rubio said. “If you add these eligibility criteria outside of what Congress intended, you’re going to run out of money.”
The goal of the Biden administration’s changes was to ensure that businesses most in need could access help. However, the new formula for calculating loans for sole proprietors has caused problems and confusion. Sole proprietorships who are now eligible for larger loans worry that they will not have time to take advantage of the change before the March 31 deadline.
Senator Ben Cardin (D., Md.), Chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, told reporters on Wednesday he was also optimistic about the program extension.
“I think we will do it,” he said.
“Common sense tells you here that you don’t punish thousands of companies because of, you know, one or two bad actors,” Rubio said. “I think that’s true of the fraud and the program, which clearly existed. And I think that’s true of those political hot spots.”
Jessica Smith is chief political correspondent for Yahoo Finance, based in Washington, DC Follow her on Twitter at @ JessicaASmith8.