March 8, 2021

MSCI Asks Lawmakers To Extend Paycheck Protection Program

The Metals Service Center Institute joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of other organizations last week to send a letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders asking that they extend the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) until December 31, 2021. The letter, available here, noted the PPP “allowed between 1.4 and 3.2 million employees to stay on payroll even when their employers were forced to close their doors.”

The letter said extending the deadline will ensure that the segment of small businesses facing the greatest obstacles do not get left behind.

In a 50-49 vote, on Saturday, March 6, the U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, sending the measure back to the House for final a final vote. The House had passed its version of the legislation earlier in the week. While the Senate legislation does not extend the deadline for the PPP, it does include $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loans and an additional $7.25 billion for forgivable loans in the PPP.

The Senate amended the House-passed measure by:

  • Eliminating a gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour;
  • Expanding the Employee Retention Tax Credit to new start-up companies;
  • Excluding individuals who earn more than $80,000 and households that earn more than $160,000 annually from being eligible to receive $1,400 direct payments;
  • Paring back the expanded unemployment benefit payments;
  • Adding funding for broadband infrastructure, rural hospitals, Amtrak, and emergency food and shelter assistance;
  • Making temporary pandemic student loan relief tax-free;
  • Adding explicit directions for the allocation of the $350 billion contained in the House bill’s state and local aid provisions, including a requirement that 40 percent of the funds be dedicated to localities; and
  • Providing 100 percent of health insurance premiums for recently laid-off workers.

Click here to read more about what is in this legislation.