Targeted Stimulus Bill Fails in Senate

September 16, 2020

On Sept. 10, the Senate failed (52-47) to move forward on the scaled-down, $500 billion Republican coronavirus relief measure, dimming the chances that Congress will approve another package before the November election. Fifty-two out of the 53-member GOP caucus voted in favor of the proposal, which Senate Republican leadership saw as a win after weeks of internal division. But 60 votes were needed for the bill to advance, and no Senate Democrats voted for the bill.

The bill, the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act would, among other things, create another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and simplify the forgiveness rules for those funds.

Specific to small businesses, Title IV of the bill would have created a second round of PPP with reforms to require new applications show revenue loss and maintain loan documents consistent with IRS requirements. It would have allowed small businesses (including self-employed individuals, sole-proprietors, and independent contractors) with 300 or fewer employees that have incurred at least a 35 percent reduction in gross revenue in a 2020 quarter relative to the same 2019 quarter to receive a second PPP loan.

NSBA supported the measure (see our letter to the Senate) and has continued to urge lawmakers to provide greater flexibility to spend forgivable PPP funds on all normal business expenses (rent, software, equipment, suppliers, and vendors) not just the ones currently defined.

Lawmakers face a significant amount of work to complete before leaving in just a few short weeks for the campaign trail: COVID-19 stimulus, the looming government funding deadline (Sept. 30) and the 2015 surface transportation bill which expires the same day.