On July 4, President Trump signed a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application extension bill that, according to several senators, was "surprisingly" introduced and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate late on June 30.
Most notably, the bill pushes out the PPP application window deadline five weeks from June 30 to August 8. The PPP was established to support small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The resources are there. The need is there. We just need to change the date," Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said.
The small business loan program had expired at midnight on July 1, but the program still had more than $130 billion left in funding available for small businesses. The extension should help businesses in states that are being affected by the new wave of infection and halted reopening plans.
Although there was consensus in both Chambers that the PPP program should be extended, several lawmakers have raised concerns about the lack of transparency as to how program funds are being used. "As we vote for a brief extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, I continue to call on the Trump Administration to release the data of who has received its benefits," stated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "The Administration’s breathtaking lack of transparency continues to raise serious questions as to why the Administration is failing to ensure this lifeline reaches the small businesses in our most impacted communities."
Visit the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program for more details.