The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote later this week on legislation that would disclose details– including the names of lenders– of all loans over $2 million made under the Paycheck Protection Program.
The House also is likely to consider a measure to give employers receiving those loans some additional flexibility in how to use them.
H.R. 6782 would require the Small Business Administration to disclose the recipients of all PPP loans over $2 million, as well as details of the SBA’s decision-making process in approving the loan and the identification of the credit union or bank making the loan. In addition, the SBA would be required to provide details of the assistance made to businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people.
Public interest groups have pushed for greater transparency for how money under the so-called “CARES Act,” which includes the PPP, is spent. “The [Trump] administration’s inability to provide appropriate oversight for billions of taxpayer dollars doled out through CARES Act programs is a failure of historic magnitude,” said Jenna Kruse, spokesperson for Accountable.US, one of the groups pushing for increased disclosure.
H.R. 7010 would provide loan recipients with more flexibility in how to use a PPP loan. That measure would eliminate restrictions that require loan recipients to use 75% of the loans they receive for payroll and would allow loan forgiveness even if the proceeds of the loan are used later than the eight weeks required under the PPP.
“I am hearing from too many Minnesota small business owners who have received PPP loans but are afraid to use the money because of the inflexible, one-size-fits-all rules—and others who are not applying for aid at all out of fear and confusion,” said Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), one of the primary sponsors of that legislation.
To complicate matters, this is the first week that the House will attempt to allow members to vote remotely—a move that Republicans oppose and have filed suit to stop.
The Senate is not in session for floor votes this week. However, leaders said that there is a consensus that the terms of the Paycheck Protection Program need to be adjusted, so a bill could be approved by unanimous consent there and sent to the House.