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Congress reaches deal on extending paycheck protection

Updated July 1, 2020 - 4:48 pm

WASHINGTON — Congress reached a last-minute deal Wednesday to extend the Paycheck Protection Program that keeps federal assistance flowing to small businesses through next month.

The deal was reached between Democrats and Republicans just before the program expired Tuesday and was approved by the full Senate by unanimous consent. It passed the House on Wednesday and now goes to President Donald Trump for a signature.

In the Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, the ranking Democrat, Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer hammered out the last-minute details with other lawmakers, including Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.

Rosen said the PPP loans distributed by the Small Business Administration “helped countless Nevada small businesses stay afloat during the economic downturn caused by this global pandemic.”

Nevada lawmakers were able to get changes in regulations that allowed truck stops, small casinos and restaurants and bars with gaming to receive the PPP loans.

“I urge Senate leaders to bring a comprehensive, bipartisan COVID relief package to the floor that fully supports all of our small businesses in Nevada, including our tourism economy,” said Rosen, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

The House passed its version of another coronavirus relief bill in May, but the Senate has yet to craft its version of relief legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he expects legislation to be written in the Senate before talks begin with Democrats and the House later this month.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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