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Congress, White House close to deal to replenish Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses

Chamber of Commerce head expects deal on small business loans
Head of U.S. Chamber of Commerce expects deal in Congress on small business loans 05:19

Washington — Congressional leaders from both sides and the Trump administration are still hoping to finalize a $470 billion bill to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program Monday, so the Senate can pass the bill on Tuesday. The additional funding was deemed necessary after the Small Business Administration announced last week that all $350 billion in loans to small businesses had dried up. 

At this point, the basic framework of the bill includes the following:

  • $310 billion for PPP
  • $60 billion for the depleted disaster fund at SBA 
  • $25 billion for coronavirus testing
  • $75 billion for hospitals 

Democrats are not expected to be able to secure additional funding they wanted for state and local governments or SNAP food assistance funding in this bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor Monday that Democrats were still negotiating with the Trump administration and set up a session Tuesday during which the Senate could approve the deal, if it is finalized by then. The Senate is also scheduled to meet Thursday.

"Colleagues, it's past time, past time, to get this done for the country," McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said.

Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio expressed confidence earlier Monday that a deal would be reached soon, and in a tweet, he urged his congressional colleagues to act quickly. "My concern is we don't waste the next three days," he said. The Florida Republican is worried about how quickly the large number of small businesses with applications ready — as many as 900,000 — can be processed. 

House members have been told by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to prepare to come back for a vote as early as Wednesday, which is seen as another sign that leaders believe they are on the cusp of completing these arduous negotiations.

Democrats have been pushing for changes in the PPP program that would ensure that very small businesses — and those that don't have preexisting relationships with banks — can more easily get access to the funds. 

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Monday that negotiations on key points have gone "very well."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an interview on "Fox News Sunday," said small businesses "will have more money as soon as we come to an agreement, which will be soon, and I think people will be very pleased." 

Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who leads the National Governors' Association, said he and other governors believe that aid for state and local government is "desperately needed,″ but that it may not be an issue worth fighting over for now.

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said states needed money from the federal government to ramp up testing, and he blasted legislation that wouldn't provide it.

"You have the president saying 15 times, 'It's up to the governors, it's up to the governors, it's up to the governors,'" he said. "And then they're going to pass a piece of legislation that gives you know what to states: zero, zilch, nada, niente. Whatever language you want to say it, nothing."

The SBA loans, based on a company's payroll costs, offer owners forgiveness if they retain workers or rehire those who have been laid off. The law provides for forgiveness for companies in any industry — even businesses like hedge funds and law firms. There's a limit of $100,000 on the amount of employees' compensation that can be considered when loan forgiveness is calculated.

CBS News' Nancy Cordes and Alan He contributed reporting.

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