Congress Replenishes Paycheck Protection Program
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate Amendment to H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The legislation replenishes funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and provides additional funding for hospitals, health care providers and testing. The Senate already passed the legislation by voice vote, and President Trump is expected to sign the bill quickly.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions felt across the whole of society, small businesses have undoubtedly taken some of the hardest, fastest and most damaging economic hits. As the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, small businesses support millions and millions of American jobs. Certainly, it is in our collective interest to help sustain these vital job creators that are facing hard times by no fault of their own. The fact that the Paycheck Protection Program ran dry less than two weeks after rollout demonstrates just how dire the circumstances are for small businesses. Before all available funding was obligated last week, more than 35,500 Oklahoma businesses had already borrowed roughly $4.6 billion from the program to retain the jobs of tens of thousands of Oklahomans.
“Refilling the Paycheck Protection Program could not come soon enough. Indeed, action should have taken place as soon as we saw the warning signs. Unfortunately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer chose to make a bad crisis even worse, using the dried-up program as leverage for additional demands. As a result, they wasted precious days that many small businesses don’t have the luxury of weathering – likely causing jobs and businesses to be lost or leaving them hanging on by a thread. I am grateful that a second installment of funding is finally on the way. And as another means of helping sustain small businesses, I am encouraged that the legislation also includes critical aid for small business economic injury and disaster loans.”