Friday, October 23, 2020

Forgiveness bill remains on hold in Senate

Earlier this afternoon, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), the lead sponsor of S. 4117, the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, sought unanimous consent to have the Senate immediately consider this legislation.

Unfortunately, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Senate Small Business Committee, objected to consideration of the bill because the legislation is too narrowly tailored to only address the forgiveness process. It does not include a second round of loans through the PPP initiative, nor does it make additional changes to other SBA-related small business loan programs.

While Sen. Cardin acknowledged the forgiveness process needs to be further streamlined, the failure of the Senate to move on this legislation that will help current PPP borrowers and lenders is disappointing.

The House package (the HEROES Act) introduced Tuesday included some meaningful forgiveness relief provisions, particularly for loans below $50,000. It also includes a more simplified forgiveness application for loans of $50,000 to $150,000. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are meeting today to discuss the HEROES Act and this smaller “forgiveness” provision.

We hope these conversations will result in a breakthrough of the ongoing stalemate. However, with only a few days remaining before Congress adjourns for the election recess period, we don’t see this measure advancing in the House this week because it’s likely that the negotiations won’t be completed before the election.

Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.