WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Senate lawmakers are taking a close look at the Paycheck Protection Program, which is responsible for propping up small businesses during the pandemic.
Many senators say the loan program needs to be revamped.
“We thought, that within eight weeks, that our economy would be back to close to normal,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, said. “Well that’s not the case. That’s not going to be the case for the foreseeable future.”
Cardin said lawmakers need to ensure there is oversight of the program, including, “how much went to minority businesses, how much went to women-owned businesses and what went to the rural areas.”
“We need to get that information,” he added, adding that it would assist lawmakers in making needed adjustments to the program.
Right now, to receive maximum forgiveness, businesses must fully bring back their workforce during the eight-week restrictive period.
But as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, points out, the crisis is lasting longer than expected.
“For many businesses, eight weeks from the time they got the money is not going to be enough time to spend that on payroll,” he said.
Rubio said lawmakers are working to fix that restrictive period.
“Do we really want all of this money to be returned for payroll if, in fact, it could be used nine weeks, 10 weeks, 11 or 12 weeks later to hire people?” he questioned.
Lawmakers intend to start addressing the problem through hearings as early as next week.