House Passes O’Halleran-Endorsed Bill to Improve PPP, Cut Red Tape

May 28, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) to improve the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by increasing flexibility in allowable loan spending for small businesses.

“I have spent the past weeks on constant calls and virtual meetings with businesses of all sizes across rural Arizona to learn about which aspects of the Paycheck Protection Program are and are not working,” said O’Halleran. “I cosponsored this bipartisan bill to improve, expand, and extend PPP, and ensure that mom-and-pop shops that need these loans the most can both access and spend funds without navigating endless red tape.”

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010)

  • allows loan forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period to 24 weeks, and extends the rehiring deadline;
  • increases the current forgivable limitation on spending for nonpayroll expenses like rent, utility payments, and mortgage interest from 25 to 40 percent;
  • extends PPP from June 30 to December 31;
  • extends loan terms from two to five years;
  • and ensures that businesses that take PPP loans have full access to payroll tax deferment.

“I have heard from countless small business owners who only employ a handful of people and need PPP funds to help them literally keep the lights on,” said O’Halleran, speaking about H.R. 7010. “These businesses are a critical part of our Arizona economy and far too many of them are not applying for these new loans at all because there is too much red tape standing in the way of spending the awarded funds.”

Today, a suspension vote to pass a separate, O’Halleran-endorsed, bipartisan fix to PPP—the Small Business Transparency and Reporting for the Underbanked and Taxpayers at Home (TRUTH) Act, failed on the House Floor.

The TRUTH Act (H.R. 6782) sought to increase transparency in PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) by requiring the Small Business Administration to publicly identify all loan recipients who receive more than $2 million, as well as the amount of loan assistance provided to socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners, and women- and veteran-owned small businesses. 

“I have spoken to far too many tribally-run, veteran-owned, and women-founded Arizona businesses whose loan applications have been left on the backburner in favor of bigger name shops with friends in high places,” said O’Halleran following the vote. “We need to ensure that there is proper accountability and oversight in place for this loan awarding process. I was disappointed to see this bill I cosponsored fail today and am concerned that a continued lack of transparency in this program will disadvantage those that need it most.”

The TRUTH Act, needing a two-thirds majority to pass, failed 269-147.  

“There is no question that more work must be done to improve PPP,” continued O’Halleran. “I’m committed to continuing to hear from businesses across Arizona’s First Congressional District to make sure we are implementing the fixes they need to succeed.”