Shaheen Statement on Bipartisan Fix to Paycheck Protection Program Becoming Law

June 05, 2020

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship – issued the following statement after the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which provides necessary reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to ensure funding assistance reaches small businesses that need it most, was signed into law. On the Senate floor earlier this week, Shaheen called for the passage of the legislation to address the urgent needs of small businesses throughout New Hampshire. Shaheen introduced companion legislation in the Senate last month with Senators Rubio (R-FL), Cardin (D-MD) and Collins (R-ME).

Senator Shaheen helped negotiate the small business relief programs in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including the PPP. She has repeatedly called for congressional oversight, as significant problems with the Trump administration’s implementation of the programs has failed to prioritize small mom-and-pop shops and independently owned businesses that the relief programs were intended to help. Last month, Shaheen demanded that the Trump administration come before the Senate Small Business Committee to improve transparency and accountability.

“With this bipartisan bill becoming law, small businesses can breathe a small sigh of relief. The new flexibility in this legislation will give small business owners additional time and guidance on how they can use their federal loans to weather this financial crisis,” said Shaheen. “I’m glad Congress got this done, but our work is far from over. Too many small businesses are still hurting, which is why we need full transparency from the administration that these federal assistance programs are delivering relief to those who need it most, as was intended. I’ve repeatedly called for Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Carranza to testify before the Senate Small Business Committee, so I’m pleased they’ve finally agreed to do so next week. I look forward to raising these issues with them so New Hampshire small businesses’ concerns are heard by this administration loud and clear.”

Senator Shaheen has worked tirelessly to address the administration’s flawed implementation of the PPP and small business assistance programs to ensure help reaches those who need it most. She recently hosted calls with small businesses and non-profits that have successfully accessed these programs and those that have been unable to access them. She also called on the Trump administration to provide late guidance to small businesses, that’s mandated by law, regarding PPP loan forgiveness. She joined with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) in calling on the administration to reverse its policy of limiting Economic Disaster Loan Program relief to $150,000 and to reopen the program to non-farm applicants. In May, Shaheen unveiled the Transparency and Oversight of COVID-19 Small Business Recover Assistance Act to ensure accountability for the Trump administration’s implementation of the PPP and EIDL grant programs. The Senators sought to pass this legislation through the Senate through unanimous consent, but were blocked by Senate Republicans. Last month, Shaheen and the congressional delegation called on the U.S. Department of Treasury to make adjustments to the PPP so that it can more effectively serve the needs of Granite State small businesses.