Press Releases

Wexton Votes to Pass Bipartisan Reform to Improve PPP Flexibility

Washington, May 28, 2020

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act to make the terms of PPP loans more flexible and accessible for small businesses in need.

"PPP loans have been a lifeline for small businesses in America, but I’ve heard from too many mom and pop shops in my district who have faced difficulty accessing these funds,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “The existing one-size-fits-all approach of the Paycheck Protection Program has been a deterrent to constituents who should be able to count on these funds. By making PPP loans more flexible, we can help more small businesses keep their lights on and their employees on payroll."

To address issues raised by small business owners across the country who have been hesitant to use PPP funding they have received or who have been wary to even apply at all because of the stringent forgiveness requirements of the program, the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act would:

  • Allow forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period to 24 weeks and extend the rehiring deadline from June 30 to December 31, 2020;
  • Increase flexibility on use of loan funds on non-payroll expenses like rent, utility payments, and mortgage interest from 25 to 40 percent, while still requiring 60 percent of loan funds to be used for payroll to prevent layoffs;
  • Extend loan terms from 2 to at least 5 years; and
  • Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses who take PPP loans.

Today, Congresswoman Wexton also voted in favor of the Small Business Transparency and Reporting for the Underbanked and Taxpayers at Home (TRUTH) Act, which was blocked by House Republicans and failed to receive the two-thirds majority required to pass on suspension, despite having broad bipartisan support. The TRUTH Act would require the SBA to identify borrowers who receive PPP loans or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) above $2 million and explain their decision-making process behind issuing these loans. The SBA would also be required to disclose assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners and women- and veteran-owned businesses.

"I am deeply disappointed that my Republican colleagues blocked important legislation which would have provided much needed transparency into the $650 billion that Congress has appropriated to the Paycheck Protection Program,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Americans deserve to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent and Congress needs to be able to conduct the necessary oversight to ensure that these funds are being distributed fairly. Every small business must have equal access to this relief program."

Yesterday, Congresswoman Wexton sent a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and pressed for even greater transparency into how the SBA is carrying out small business relief programs, emphasizing the need for a public registry of all PPP loans and the collection of demographic data to inform congressional oversight efforts. Wexton stressed the need to shine a light on which businesses have been approved for loans, potential preferential treatment in the disbursement of loans, and whether small businesses are being approved for forgiveness of these emergency loans. 

The full text of H.R. 7010, the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act can be found here

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