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Wednesday Vote Set for Crucial Phillips Small Business Program Reforms

 — Votes are set for Wednesday, May 27 on two important reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program from Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) designed to save struggling small businesses and ensure necessary transparency for American taxpayers. The Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act and the Transparency and Reporting for the Underbanked and Taxpayers at Home (TRUTH) Act solve problems with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) an Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) facing millions of small business owners across the country.

“Representation begins with listening, and I am hearing from too many Minnesota small business owners who have received PPP loans but are afraid to use the money because of the inflexible, one size fits all rules - and others who are not applying for aid at all out of fear and confusion,” Representative Phillips said. “It won’t matter how much money we appropriate if the distribution mechanisms are broken. Congress now has an opportunity to fix what’s broken and make this important relief program more accessible and useable to the small businesses that need it the most. I am encouraged by the bipartisan cooperation of my colleagues in the House and Senate, and look forward to working with them to push these reforms over the finish line without delay. Every day counts, and time cannot be wasted.”

The two bipartisan bills are the culmination of months of work by Phillips. After countless conversations with small business owners in Minnesota and across the nation, public advocacy to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchintestimony before the House Small Business Committee, and bipartisan collaboration in Congress, votes on the two bills this Wednesday will put Congress closer to ensuring hastily-designed federal relief programs work better for American small businesses owners who so desperately need them.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
Co-led with Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX), this game-changing legislation will make urgent changes to the PPP, resulting in a more accessible and equitable relief program for vulnerable small businesses. The proposed reforms are the result of an outpouring of feedback from small business owners and restaurateurs, and include allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period, the removal of the 75/25 rule, the elimination of restrictions limiting the loan terms of two years and expanded forgiveness for businesses unable to rehire due to the continuing pandemic. These crucial fixes have been covered by Fox Businessendorsed by the Washington Post, and may mean the difference between survival and closure for small businesses across the nation as they attempt to weather the economic storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bipartisan TRUTH Act would direct the SBA to publicly disclose details on how small business relief dollars are flowing and where they are going. The bipartisan legislation would require the SBA to provide details on loans made over $2,000,000 and justify policy decisions like the recent slashing of EIDL limits, ensuring transparency and accountability from the agency while protecting the privacy of recipients of smaller loans. We are experiencing the largest expenditure of taxpayer money in American history, and since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Rep. Phillips has been a leading advocate for transparency and oversight of those dollars. Previously, Phillips authored the bill which created a bipartisan Congressional Oversight Commission and Special Inspector General for the $500 billion Treasury Department fund for large businesses and state and local governments in the CARES Act.