Shaheen Statement on Congressional Approval of Bipartisan Fix to Paycheck Protection Program

June 03, 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 Senate passed 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. Earlier today on the Senate floor, Shaheen called for the passage of the legislation to address the urgent needs of small businesses throughout New Hampshire. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act passed the Senate today after previously passing the House of Representatives. It will next be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 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 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.

“This bipartisan legislation makes commonsense changes to give small businesses flexibility as to how they can use this funding and on fast-approaching deadlines. I was glad to partner again with Senators Rubio, Cardin and Collins on this effort in the Senate, and appreciate the bipartisan work that was mirrored in the House. It’s important that the President moves swiftly and signs this legislation into law,” said Shaheen. “This is an important step, but much more work needs to be done to make sure this support is reaching small businesses that are truly hurting. We still need more transparency in order to conduct robust oversight of the administration’s implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program, and I continue to call on Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Carranza to testify before the Senate Small Business Committee so that Congress and the public can get answers.”

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.