House-passed relief bill excludes lobbyists from Paycheck Protection Program

House-passed relief bill excludes lobbyists from Paycheck Protection Program
© Greg Nash

House Democrats' $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill includes a provision that would impact loans for small businesses that employ lobbyists and are seeking federal aid.

The bill would prevent any business that has a lobbyist on its payroll from counting that lobbyist in calculating payroll costs.

The proposal was introduced by House Appropriation Committee Chair Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyJulián Castro launches PAC to support progressive candidates Lawmakers call on VA to remove swastikas from headstones in veterans cemeteries House Democrats object to Trump sending ventilators to Russia MORE (D-N.Y.) as a modification to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

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Businesses with lobbyists on their payroll can still apply for PPP loans, which are available to companies with up to 500 employees, but any lobbyist would not count as an employee.

Under Lowey's proposal, if a business or nonprofit qualifies and is approved for a loan, none of the money can go to support the payroll of any lobbyists employed by the company.

Lobbying shops, which often have fewer than 500 employees, would be largely ineligible for PPP loans under the Democratic proposal.

Other impacted entities would include trade associations that employ lobbyists as well as some nonprofits, with those lobbyists not being able to benefit from paycheck protections.

The House passed the measure on Friday but the bill is not expected to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.