(Washington, D.C.) — The U.S. Senate today passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 by a vote of 92-7. The bill was introduced by Senate Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.); and it will extend the deadline for PPP applications for another two months to May 31, 2021, and then provide an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending. The House of Representatives passed the bill on March 16 by a vote of 415-3. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
Click here to watch a video of Cardin’s speech on the senate floor urging the Senate to approve the measure.
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).
Representatives Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.), and Young Kim (D-Calif.) introduced the bill in the House. The bill was endorsed by nearly 100 organizations, including the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“It is clear that small businesses and nonprofits need access to PPP beyond March 31, so it was vital that the Senate acted to keep the program open,” said Senator Cardin. “We must now continue working in a bipartisan manner to fine-tune PPP to support as many small businesses as possible through the remainder of the program.”
“The PPP has been an enormous success, sustaining millions of small businesses and tens of millions of jobs,” said Senator Collins. “Since last spring when we created the PPP, Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have repeatedly taken action to increase funding and flexibility for the program. I am pleased that Congress came together once again today to help more small businesses to access this lifeline by extending the deadline to apply to receive these forgivable loans.”
“Our hardest-hit small businesses are depending on an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program to keep the lights on and continue operating beyond March 31st,” said Senator Shaheen. “With the PPP deadline fast approaching, I’m very pleased the Senate took action to pass my bipartisan legislation with Senators Collins and Cardin that will give small businesses additional time to apply for PPP loans. I urge President Biden to sign this bill into law as soon as possible to ensure Main Street continues to have access to this crucial relief over the next several months.”
Senators Cardin, Collins and Shaheen, along with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), authored the Paycheck Protection Program, which became law as part of the CARES Act last year. In 2020, more than five million small employers received forgivable PPP loans. The four architects of the PPP successfully advocated for the inclusion of $284.5 billion in the December COVID-19 relief package to reopen the program. According to the latest data from SBA, 3.1 million PPP loans have been approved in 2021 totaling nearly $196 billion.