Please allow me to clarify where things sit with Congress as of today, October 19, 2020. The Senate Leadership announced there will be two stand alone relief bills voted on this week.
The first bill will be voted on Tuesday. It is said to be a clean bill that authorizes the use of the remaining $134.5 billion dollars left in the original PPP program in the original CARES Act.
That money is “stuck” as the program has officially ended, and it literally requires an act of Congress to reopen the program and expend the money.
All the Congress needs to do is pass this stand alone bill and they can begin distributing that $134.5 billion dollars.
The exact text of the bill has yet to be revealed.
It is rumored that the bill will required that your business received and spent a first round of PPP and has suffered a revenue decrease of at least 25% this year.
The Senate Leadership has put this forward as a stand alone bill as they believe that since this bill requires no additional new funding, as it is using previously authorized money, that everyone, both sides of the aisle, should support this bill.
It will most certainly pass the Senate and it feels like it may get enough support in the House to pass.
To add to confusion, there are actually two rumored PPP bills. One rumor states they are only using the previously approved and unused $134.5 billion dollars.
The other rumor is that the bill authorizes $500 billion dollars for additional PPP.
Either way, the bill is said to be 100% for additional PPP.
The second bill to be proposed on Wednesday is more complicated.
Again, with no text of the bill out and only rumors, this is what is in the wind.
It is said to include more Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, but no amount has been stated publicly.
It is said to have funding for education, vaccines and the Post Office.
It is still rumored to have some language about liability protection, which many believe will kill the bill.
The consensus on the probability of this bill passing is very low.
Interestingly, there is currently little mention of the $28 billion for airlines that was previously agreed to by both sides.
Also absent from any discussion about these two stand alone bills is the long talked about $1,200 stimulus check for individuals.
The Speaker of the House and The Secretary of the Treasury spoke twice over the weekend, and both are showing optimism this morning.
The Speaker drew a line in the sand and stated that if a deal was not reached by Tuesday night, there would not be a deal prior to the election.
Is that political posturing or a real refusal to talk beyond that date?
They are speaking again today.
The majority of the rank and file in both chambers continue to support more relief prior to the election as it helps their reelection chances.
There are a lot of nervous legislators that are pushing for a relief bill.
As before, it rests in the hands of Leadership both sides of the aisle.
Any bill that passes the Senate must then be put before the House for a vote.
Only the House Leadership can put the bill before the House for a vote.
If House leadership does not place the bill before the House for a vote, it will never be voted on and thus will fail.
Thus, success or failure rests in the hands of Leadership in both chambers.
If they do pass more PPP, it will require those who use it to execute another loan agreement with their lender as you did before.
It would most likely take around 2 weeks after the President would sign it into law before you would actually receive funds.
More information will be provided as it is made available.
Thank you for all you do and remember to stay focused.
Onward and Upward.
Michael T. Strickland
Chair and Founder