Top GOP lawmaker touts 'more flexible' PPP loans in bipartisan proposal

Top GOP lawmaker touts 'more flexible' PPP loans in bipartisan proposal
© Greg Nash

A second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that lawmakers hope to include in the next COVID-19 relief package would expand eligibility and provide more flexibility for businesses, a top GOP lawmaker said Thursday.

Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Fresh hurdles push timeline on getting China bill to Biden READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-Ohio), the ranking member on the House Small Business Committee, said components of a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief proposal circulated this week would accommodate businesses with very few employees, create new eligibility requirements for a second loan and a simplify the loan forgiveness process.

“We’re close to having a second round of PPP loans available, and there would be a set-aside there for microbusinesses, those that have 10 or fewer employees,” Chabot said at The Hill’s “Doing Better in America” event.


“A lot of them weren’t sophisticated enough to get in the first round," he told The Hill's Steve Clemons. "We want to make sure that those who didn’t get one in the first round or businesses who maybe did get one but really need a second loan, that they’re both eligible.”

PPP loans have garnered bipartisan support, despite criticism that many of the loans in the first round were obtained by larger businesses.

Congressional leaders have indicated that a new round of PPP loans are likely to be in the next coronavirus relief package, but negotiators have yet to reach a breakthrough in the months-long talks.

Other changes in the bipartisan proposal highlighted by Chabot include adjustments to PPP loan forgiveness.

“We’re trying to simplify that so people don’t have to pay that loan back, that was the idea when we passed this PPP program was for those to be forgivable loans for the most part,” said Chabot, who will be succeeded next month by Rep. Blaine LuetkemeyerWilliam (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerMissouri Republicans move to block Greitens in key Senate race Democratic Kansas City, Mo., mayor eyes Senate run Keeping fintech's promise: A modest proposal MORE (R-Mo.) as the top Republican on the Small Business Committee.

Chabot noted that the proposal also attempts to make the loan forgiveness process more navigable for borrowers.


“We’re also trying to make the forgiveness process more flexible for people, because right now, people who have the loan are now going in and trying to make sure they don’t have to pay the loan back and it can be a pretty paperwork-intensive project,” he said at the event sponsored by Philip Morris International.