Skip to Content

Press Releases

Pingree Votes for Two Bipartisan Bills to Improve Paycheck Protection Program

House Has Passed The Heroes Act & H.R. 7010 to Deliver Urgent Relief to Nation’s Small Businesses, Senate Inaction Continues

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) voted with her House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass H.R. 7010, bipartisan legislation which would alter the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and make it more accessible to the small businesses most in need of relief. Pingree also supported H.R. 6782, a bipartisan bill to provide more transparency over the PPP loan program.

“For many small businesses in Maine, the PPP’s eight weeks of costs eligible for loan forgiveness is proving insufficient. The House has passed the Heroes Act and H.R. 7010 which would give small businesses the flexibility they’ve urgently requested,” said Pingree of H.R. 7010, the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which passed the House 417 to 1. “Small businesses should not be driven deeper into the red because of shortcomings with this loan program that can be easily fixed by Congress.”

The bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) would make the following overdue changes to PPP:

  • Allow small businesses to claim payroll forgiveness under PPP loans over a 24 week period, rather than 8 weeks;
  • Extend the PPP loan coverage period through December 31, 2020, rather than June 30;
  • Increase the amount, to 40%, of non-payroll costs that can be counted for full loan forgiveness (Treasury/SBA imposed a limit of 25%);
  • Ensure small businesses are still eligible for loan forgiveness if they can certify that they are unable to rehire workers in the prescribed timeframe; 
  • Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans; and
  • Extend loan terms from two years to five years.

These changes are similar to the PPP provisions included in The Heroes Act, which passed the U.S. House on May 15, 2020.

Today, Congresswoman Pingree also voted for H.R. 6782, the bipartisan TRUTH Act, which would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to publicly identify all borrowers with loans above $2 million and provide an explanation of the decision-making process under which such funds were disbursed. “The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created by Congress under the CARES Act to provide relief to the nation’s small businesses, but hundreds of publicly traded companies, some with market values well over $100 million, have received these loans. This clearly was not the intent of this small business relief program and more transparency is needed,” said Pingree.

The TRUTH ACT would also require the SBA to publicly disclose the amount of assistance provided to socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners, and women-and veteran-owned small businesses.  

On April 16, Pingree wrote to House leaders urging commonsense fixes be made to the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and provisions be included in Congress’s next COVID-19 relief package to help small businesses weather this crisis.

On May 11, Pingree joined 29 of her House colleagues in requesting that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the allocation of loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to large, publicly traded companies. 



Back to top