Just hours before the Paycheck Protection Program closed, the Senate reached a deal to extend it for five weeks. The unanimous vote opens the program to new users through August 8. Prior to Tuesday’s decision, lawmakers were attempting to create legislation to redirect the program's untouched $130 billion if the program did not extend, according to the Washington Post. But whether or not all remaining money will be utilized through the program is uncertain, as the demand for funds has slowed. Read more to see how the Senate hopes to use remaining funds.
Prospects for the legislation in the House, however, were uncertain. Both chambers are set to adjourn for a two-week recess by week’s end.
The short-term agreement came together in behind-the-scenes negotiations involving Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and others.
The Senate acted by unanimous consent to extend the Tuesday midnight deadline for when the PPP can accept applications for forgivable loans for an additional five weeks. It came as the program was poised to shut down to new users with more than $130 billion left untapped. Lawmakers were working on legislation to redirect the remaining funding to additional businesses, but no such deal was expected to be reached until late July, and meanwhile the money left in the program would be sitting unspent.