Mnuchin: Hardest-hit businesses should be able to get second PPP payment

Mnuchin: Hardest-hit businesses should be able to get second PPP payment
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Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of emergency loans | House seeks to salvage vote on spending bill | Economists tell lawmakers: Kill the virus to heal the economy Economists spanning spectrum say recovery depends on containing virus Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of current emergency lending programs MORE said Friday that he thinks the businesses hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic should be able to receive a second round of assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“The administration supports using the existing money and topping it up with some additional money, and that will be discussed, and allowing for a second payment to the businesses that are especially hard-hit,” Mnuchin said at a House Small Business Committee hearing.

Under the PPP, small businesses received federal loans that can be forgiven if they are used to retain workers. About $130 billion of funds in the program remain available.

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The PPP was created by the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation that President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE signed into law on March 27 and was expanded in subsequent legislation.

Lawmakers and the administration are expected to ramp up discussions over another relief package next week.

Mnuchin said he thinks there should be a “revenue test” for businesses to receive a second payment to “make sure that money is going to businesses that have significant revenue declines.” He added that second payments should not be targeted to any specific industry.

Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) asked Mnuchin if he would support setting aside some PPP loan funds for small, minority-owned businesses. Mnuchin said there should be such a set-aside.

The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotCentrist Democrats 'strongly considering' discharge petition on GOP PPP bill Lawmakers call for expanded AI role in education, business to remain competitive The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep MORE (Ohio), noted that some businesses have found the loan-forgiveness process to be complicated and asked if it needs to be further simplified.

Mnuchin said that lawmakers and the administration should consider providing blanket forgiveness for the smallest loans, while ensuring there’s some type of safeguard to protect against fraud.