Press Releases

DelBene Votes to Provide More Funds for Small Business Lending Program, Increase Access for Underbanked Businesses

f t # e
Washington, D.C., April 23, 2020 | comments

Today, Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-01) voted in favor of The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), which will replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and make the program more accessible to underbanked businesses, typically minority-owned or rural-based. The bill also provides additional resources for hospitals and expanded COVID-19 testing.

The bill specifically includes:

  • $310 billion total for PPP, $60 billion of which is set aside for smaller businesses that were previously shut out of the program
  • Funds to support $350 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and $10 billion for advance grants for small businesses
  • EIDL and PPP eligibility to farms
  • $75 billion for hospitals
  • $25 billion for testing

“This deal addresses the immediate need to continue providing relief to small businesses harmed by COVID-19. It also makes PPP more accessible to businesses run by women, veterans, Native Americans, and people of color or that are in rural areas. Relief should be determined by need, not by your relationship with your bank,” said DelBene. “This is an interim step, and Congress and the president will need to act quickly on another package to provide additional relief for essential public services, workers who are no longer receiving a paycheck, and families struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic. I will continue fighting for them throughout this crisis.”

Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requested $250 billion from Congress for PPP, which was quickly running out of money. Congressional Democrats insisted the program be more accessible to minority-owned and underbanked businesses. This week, the Trump administration and Congress agreed on this bill that makes the program more equitable and provides funds for hospitals and expanded testing.

Congress needs to begin working on the next relief package immediately. DelBene is prioritizing the following in the next bill:

  • Providing funds for essential services like public health, EMS, firefighters, and schools
  • Getting money in the hands of those who need it by expanding the Child Tax Credit
  • Increasing production of affordable housing
  • Allowing everyone to vote by mail during this pandemic
  • Including data privacy protections around our health and location information

DelBene also voted in favor of establishing the Bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which will ensure the tax dollars Congress approves to respond to this crisis are spent appropriately.

The text of the H.R. 266 can be found here
f t # e