US House passes major revision of coronavirus business aid; Rooney absent for sixth time, Diaz-Balart, Steube approve

US_Capitol_west_side 3-2-19

May 28, 2020 by David Silverberg.

By a near-unanimous vote of 417 to 1, the US House of Representatives today passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (House Resolution 7010), which eases the terms of  government emergency loans for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The lone “nay” vote was cast by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-4-Ky.).

Despite new House rules allowing remote and proxy voting, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.) was absent. This makes the sixth major coronavirus-related vote that he has missed. As of this writing, Rooney had not issued a statement on his absence.

Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.) and Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.) both voted for the measure. As of this writing, neither had issued statements explaining their votes .

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, makes a variety of changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help businesses hurt by the pandemic.

Under the bill, businesses have more time to use loans, extending the period from eight to 24 weeks.

Businesses will now also get greater flexibility in using the loans. Until now the businesses had to use 75 percent of their loans for payroll and limit other costs to no more than 25 percent of the loan in order to be eligible for loan forgiveness. Under HR 7010 that ratio changes to 60 percent and 40 percent respectively. The new bill also allows businesses to defer payroll taxes.

The bill was a bipartisan effort, introduced by Reps. Chip Roy (R-21-Texas) and Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips (D-3-Minn.).

Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg

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