WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – A program that was put in place to help small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic is set to expire next week – unless Congress acts first. Capitol Hill senators on both sides of the aisle are now pushing for an extension of the paycheck protection program.
With the COVID relief program money distributed to people across the country, Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff said Congress needs to work quickly to do more for small businesses.
“Now what we need to do, and what I urge my colleagues to do, is swiftly adopt an extension of the PPP Small Business Support Program until May,” Senator Ossoff said.
The US bailout plan promulgated by President Joe Biden earlier this month there was additional money for the paycheck protection program, but not an extension of the program itself. The program is set to expire a week from Wednesday and still has $ 128 billion to earn.
Ossoff is calling on his colleagues to act now to pass an extension, “to help keep struggling small businesses, like local mom restaurants and pop stores, afloat.”
Unlike a lot of other things in Washington, the extension proposal is bipartite. And seven GOP senators are already backing it.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, is hoping to get even more signatures.
“This is one of the most successful programs we’ve done together for COVID relief,” Capito said on Wednesday.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Backs his own measure to expand the program, but in a way he says will ensure that “the Biden administration does not freeze small businesses that were previously eligible.”
But Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin, who worked with Rubio to pass the first round of the PPP, said the Senate should focus on approving an extension and work on the details later.
“There are other changes to the program that we will have the opportunity to discuss,” Senator Cardin said in the Senate on Wednesday.
It is not yet known when the extension will be put to the vote. The program expires on March 31.