Thursday, June 4, 2020

Roy makes so-called "Paycheck Protection Program" meaningfully less useless

"He who despises the word will be destroyed,
But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded."
Proverbs 13:13

We just noticed this today, although apparently it happened a week ago:

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed legislation Thursday to ease rules on small-business owners who are participating in a loan program meant to mitigate the economic complications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new legislation was a bipartisan effort, spearheaded by two freshmen — including U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin. The goal is to give business owners and operates more flexibility in the rules small businesses must follow in order to have their loans forgiven. The bill now moves to the Senate, where Roy has said he expects it will pass. (Update: The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill on June 3, and it will head to the President Trump's desk for signature.)

"We want to make sure that money is being targeted and focused in ways that's best for those businesses in order to stay alive," Roy said in an interview last week as he was shepherding the bill through the chamber. "That's the concern, that businesses are unable to get through this and stay alive."

The legislation made significant changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, a fund aimed at keeping afloat small businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. In this program, small-business owners secured loans that will ultimately be forgiven if they play by the law's rules. Roy's bill loosened those rules for small business owners by:
  • Allowing recipients to defer payroll taxes. 
  • Extending the time in which business owners can use the loans from June 30 until Dec. 31. 
  • Reducing the ratio of loan funding that must be allocated to payroll from 75% to 60%. 
  • Extending the period in which small-business owners who are not eligible for forgiveness can pay back the loans to five years.
 This is interesting for a few reasons:
  1. The so-called "PPP" program was basically useless as originally passed.  Roy's modifications make it less so.  This is welcome news to anyone using it to navigate the government-mandated shutdowns.

  2. The knock people love to make on Chip Roy is that he's more interested in "hollow posturing" than substance.  This development kicks that argument to the curb.  That Roy build overwhelming bipartisan consensus at a time when his party is in the minority is icing on the cake.
Bottom Line:  This will probably be the most meaningful accomplishment of this session of Congress; kudos to Chip Roy for making it happen.

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