Senate passes House version of PPP bill |

Senate passes House version of PPP bill

-The Hagstrom Report

The Senate late Wednesday passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which the House passed last week.

The vote was by unanimous consent.

The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who presided over the Senate when the bill came up for a vote, said, “The Paycheck Protection Program is wildly popular with small businesses in North Dakota and across the country, and the economic consequences of COVID-19 are not going to go away with the flip of a switch. While it is not perfect, this legislation extends the application deadline for PPP loans through the end of the year, lengthens the time business owners have to spend the money, and provides applicants with flexibility to use more funds on necessary expenses like mortgage payments and utilities.”

The National Restaurant Association, which pressed hard for the bill, said in an email to its members, “In a bright moment amidst an awful week for this country, we are pleased to announce that Congress has finally fixed the Paycheck Protection Program.”

“The PPP has helped countless businesses, but we are an industry with a particularly uncertain path to recovery and it simply hasn’t worked for us,” Sean Kennedy, the restaurant association executive vice president of public affairs, said.

Kennedy noted that the PPP bill will fix problems for some restaurant owners, “but our industry faces ongoing challenges and must stay engaged in Washington. We have advanced a number of initiatives, and we will seek your input on how policymakers can provide continued relief to restaurants in these uncertain times.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation Market Intel service noted in an analysis released Tuesday that the changes “could make the program more attractive to farmers and ranchers.”