The House defeated legislation Thursday that would have made public the names of lenders making large loans in the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill did not receive the two-thirds needed to pass the measure using an expedited process.
H.R. 6782 would have required the Small Business Administration to disclose the names of recipients of PPP loans over $2 million, as well as other data, including the lenders making the loans.
House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) said that the legislation is needed because the Trump Administration has refused to make public data about who is receiving PPP loans. “This is simply unacceptable,” she said.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the Small Business Committee’s ranking Republican, said that the legislation was burdensome and that business owners might be embarrassed for taking out a loan exceeding $2 million. “I don’t think they should be put on display for shaming,” he said.
House Democrats attempted to pass the bill under suspension of the House’s rules—a move that is most often used for non-controversial legislation. Indeed, the roll call vote, 269-147, showed there was widespread support for the bill, just not the two-thirds needed.
Democratic leaders have the option to bring the bill back to the floor using the normal legislative process.
The House did pass another bill, H.R. 7010, that would give businesses receiving PPP loans additional flexibility in how they use PPP loans by allowing them to use a larger percentage of the funds for non-payroll purposes.
The future of any pandemic-related legislation remains uncertain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that he wants to move slowly on any additional coronavirus legislation. The House already has passed a $3 trillion package that would provide additional funding for states and local governments, hospitals, and workers. The Senate has not yet taken up that bill.