With talks over an economic stimulus bill seemingly stalled, the Republican leaders of two House committees are asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to put away her “wish list” and simply concentrate on renewing the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and shoring up other SBA loan programs.
In rhetoric that is unlikely to appeal to Pelosi, House Financial Services Committee ranking Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Small Business Committee ranking GOP Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said that the various sides of the negotiations could have an immediate deal to renew the PPP program, which expired this weekend.
Their list includes proposals that have been endorsed by the Credit Union National Association, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and other financial services trade groups.
“While you continue to offer an agenda that doesn’t meet the needs of this emergency, millions of our small businesses and their employees are being left out to dry as the bipartisan and wildly successful Paycheck Protection Program is set to lapse at the end of the week,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “Republicans are offering solutions for the nation’s businesses and America’s workforce.”
McHenry and Chabot said Congress should simply pass legislation that would allow new and existing PPP borrowers to apply for additional assistance. They also said that PPP loans under $150,000 should be automatically forgiven. In addition, they said that other SBA loan programs should receive additional support.
The House and Senate and the White House have been unable to settle their differences over what should be included in the next coronavirus economic stimulus bill. As a result, aid such as enhanced unemployment assistance, a prohibition on evictions, and the PPP program expired. The House passed its stimulus bill in May and it included many Democratic priorities. The Senate has not passed a stimulus bill. The drafts of a Senate GOP plan contain many provisions that Democrats say are unacceptable.
President Trump this weekend issued memoranda and Executive Orders that purport to provide some extended unemployment relief and a payroll tax cut, but the effectiveness and scope of those orders remains unclear.