Businesses to get boost under PPP bill

WASHINGTON – Businesses are set to get more time and flexibility in spending their checks from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, under a bill passed by the Senate Wednesday night.

The bill, which was already passed by the House, would extend the window on spending the funds from eight to 24 weeks and reduce the required spending on payroll from 75 percent to 60 percent.

“As I’ve spoken to Texas small business owners over the past several weeks, I’ve repeatedly heard how vital the PPP has been during this unprecedented time,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a statment Thursday.  “But that praise has been coupled with requests to make improvements to the program to ensure it is delivering maximum benefits.”

The Small Business Administration had handed out more than 4.4 million loans through the PPP program, totaling more than $500 billion, as of May 30. More than 350,000 of those loans went to Texas businesses, according to Cornyn’s office.

How much more financial relief Republicans are willing to extend to American workers remains unclear.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., initially blocked the PPP bill passed Thursday, arguing the program needed to end earlier than planned.

And Republicans, who control the Senate, have rejected House Democrats’ push to extend unemployment benefits through January,

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., told Politico unemployment “might’ need to go back to the normal state unemployment benefits.” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said increased unemployment benefits was “a terrible idea [that] never should have passed in the first place.’

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