Graves Statement on PPP Flexibility Act Passing U.S. House and Supporting TRUTH Act’s Failure
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) issued the following statement and video message after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7010 – Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. The bill gives businesses more time and flexibility to make qualifying expenditures for loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and allows businesses with forgiven loans to defer payroll taxes.
“PPP has processed more loans in two weeks than the Small Business Administration processed in 14 years. Our local banks, credit unions and lenders have done an incredible job working with Louisiana’s small businesses to keep paychecks flowing to our working families. Since the moment PPP went into effect, we have taken feedback from hundreds of businesses across Louisiana on how to make the legislation better. The PPP Flex Act helps to address many of the imperfections we have heard from these small businesses owners and employees to ensure we can maximize the funding to best serve their needs,” Graves said.
Graves also spoke this morning on the U.S. House Floor about the PPP Flexibility Act and opposition to H.R. 6782 – Small Business Transparency and Reporting for the Underbanked and Taxpayers at Home (TRUTH) Act. The TRUTH Act was brought up today and failed to get the votes needed for passage, which brings it back to the drawing board.
“Conversely, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program has been a disaster itself. Legislation was brought up today to make some important changes to the programs but fails to actually fix the problems. Thankfully, this bill failed to get enough votes and allows us to go back to the drawing board and get it right. The PPP program provides assistance so businesses can continue paying employees, cover rent and utility bills. The EIDL loan program provides low interest loans to help with operating expenses. The two programs work together. If one if not working, it puts the other in jeopardy. It would be a big mistake to help provide bridge funding to businesses only to delay their demise because the EIDL loans are taking months or years to process. That is not a solution. See my speech on the House floor today in support of the PPP Flex Act and opposing the so called “TRUTH Act”. I look forward to helping to renegotiate the TRUTH Act to add the important fixes needed to make it work to keep jobs in Louisiana,” Graves said.
Graves' PPP Video Message is below:
“Got some great news. We’ve been able to reach an agreement on five important wins that y’all helped us to identify in terms of improvements or fixes to that program to help keep businesses afloat, to help businesses to keep cutting checks to families across South Louisiana.
“Number one, instead of being stuck in just that 8-week term, it’s actually been extended out to 24 weeks if folks opt for that longer period of time.
“Number two, instead of having to spend all of the money or certain percentages of the money on certain categories, it gives more flexibility among those four eligible categories of funding that you recall. The payroll, the rent, mortgage interest, and utilities – so it gives more flexibility there.
“Number three, it provides more flexibility in hitting your pre-coronavirus employee numbers. We’ve spoken to a number of you that have talked about your challenges in hiring people back because of the incredibly generous unemployment program that is out there or the families that are staying home to take care of loved ones. So we’ve provided more flexibility there.
“Number four, we’re providing a longer-term maturity for the loan. Instead of just the two years you’ll have a minimum of five years at the same 1 percent interest rate to pay back any residual of the loan, meaning any portion of the loan that is not forgiven.
“Number five, you may recall there is an either or. You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program or be eligible for the employee retention tax credit through the payroll tax. We’ve eliminated that either or so you will be eligible for both.
“Now look, I know that the program is still not perfect, but this addresses a lot of the top priorities, the top concerns that y’all have identified for us. To help provide that bridge across this tough time, to help out Louisiana families.
“At the end of the day this is all about people. It’s about helping families get those paychecks to continue on getting that hand-up, that lifeline, through this tough period. And that’s what these fixes do.
“So we are excited about this big step forward and we’re gonna continue working to fix every other imperfection in this program and others as we move forward.
“Thanks, stay safe, and God bless.