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Senate passes extension of popular small-business loan program

Senate passes extension of popular small-business loan program
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The Senate on Thursday passed legislation extending a popular small-business program created by Congress last year during the coronavirus downturn.

Senators voted 92-7 to extend the deadline for applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus, from March 31 to May 31.

Seven Republicans voted against the bill: Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoInflation concerns spark new political fights Yellen confident rising inflation won't be 'permanent' On The Money: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process on Wednesday | Four states emerge as test case for cutting off jobless benefits MORE (Idaho), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East MORE (Texas), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGOP divided over bills targeting tech giants Pence heckled with calls of 'traitor' at conservative conference Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision MORE (Mo.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFauci says he puts 'very little weight in the craziness of condemning me' Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why MORE (Ky.), Jim RischJim Elroy RischIran's presidential election puts new pressure on US nuclear talks GOP lawmakers urge Biden to add sanctions on Russia over Navalny poisoning GOP senators introduce bill to make Iran deal subject to Senate approval MORE (Idaho) and Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Sanders: Democrats considering trillion spending package | Weekly jobless claims rise for first time since April Shelby signals GOP can accept Biden's .5T with more for defense Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior MORE (Ala.). 

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The House passed the measure last week, meaning it now heads to President BidenJoe BidenExpanding child tax credit could lift 4 million children out of poverty: analysis Maria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back MORE's desk for his expected signature.

In addition to extending the window for applying for the loans, which can be forgiven if borrowers meet certain requirements, the bill also gives the Small Business Administration until June 30 to process the applications.

Business groups have been pushing for Congress to extend the application window, arguing it will provide the financial support needed to keep businesses afloat until the country’s adult population is vaccinated and COVID-19 lockdown measures are lifted.

The program was first created under the bipartisan CARES Act in late March of last year. Congress has passed additional measures to continue funding for the program, including allowing the hardest-hit small businesses to apply for a second loan.

Biden announced policy changes to the PPP in February aimed at targeting assistance to businesses with 20 or fewer employees and minority-owned firms. The administration instituted a 14-day period, which ended on March 9, when only businesses with fewer than 20 employees could apply for the loans.