US lawmakers look at possibly extending duration of Paycheck Protection Program

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says the Paycheck Protection Program needs improvements to help struggling businesses throughout the country.

“It’s not tenable right now for the eight weeks and then boom, you’re out and everyone is laid off,” Manchin said.

Manchin wants an extension to the time frame businesses can utilize these PPP funds, from eight weeks to 16 weeks.

“And that would give you eight weeks of basically trying to stay alive while the business is shut down, and as the business opens and starts building back you can keep your people on the payroll and build your business back quicker if they’re all there,” Manchin said.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine supports making changes so businesses can avoid debt.

“I think it’s important we put together a package of improvements on this so that we can hopefully forgive the greatest percentage of loans that we reasonably can and turn them into grants,” Kaine said.

Lawmakers on the other side of the aisle, like Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey, also see the benefit of making changes.

“I do think you can make a strong case that we ought to stretch out the times, somewhat, for businesses to use that,” Toomey said.

But he and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito say it’s still too early to tell if the program needs more money.

“We still have money in the PPP, so that’s the good news and the loans are smaller, so that means our small businesses are getting the access they need,” Capito said.

Manchin hopes with this bipartisan support, an adjustment can be made in the next coronavirus relief package.

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