Republicans Seek Vote to Extend Small Business Aid, Including Walorski Provision to Fix Criteria that Locked Out Local Nonprofit Serving Hoosiers with Disabilities
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) this week signed a discharge petition to bring legislation renewing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to the House floor for a vote.
“The Paycheck Protection Program has been a vital lifeline to help Main Street keep the lights on and save jobs,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “There is bipartisan support for renewing PPP so small businesses and nonprofits can continue to rebuild our economy. The only reason that hasn’t happened yet is because Speaker Pelosi is putting politics ahead of the American people. I signed this discharge petition because it’s clear Congress must take action now to provide commonsense, targeted coronavirus relief.”
The bill includes a provision Walorski authored to improve access to forgivable loans for nonprofit organizations serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“The legislation also includes a measure I authored after learning LOGAN Center, a nonprofit in South Bend serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was unable to access PPP funding due to certain eligibility criteria,” Walorski said. “My provision will ensure essential providers that have been affected by the coronavirus crisis can get the funding they need to continue serving our communities.”
The discharge petition would provide for consideration of H.R. 8265, the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, of which Congresswoman Walorski is a co-sponsor. The legislation would renew PPP through the end of the year, simplify the forgiveness process, and allow the hardest-hit small businesses and nonprofits to apply for a second PPP loan.
The legislation also contains a provision Walorski authored to expand eligibility for nonprofit organizations that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The provision would fix size and revenue criteria that prevented the LOGAN Center, a nonprofit in South Bend, from being able to receive much-needed PPP funding.
Congress created PPP under the CARES Act to help small businesses and nonprofits stay afloat and save jobs amid the coronavirus crisis. More than 83,000 forgivable loans totaling more than $9.5 billion have gone to small businesses and nonprofits in Indiana. Congress extended PPP in July, but the program expired August 8th with $138 billion in unspent funds. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has since refused to allow a vote on targeted coronavirus relief, including another PPP extension.
A discharge petition is a procedural tool to bring legislation to the floor when House leaders are blocking a vote. If a simple majority – 218 members of the House – signs the discharge petition, the legislation goes to the House floor for a debate and vote. The petition would succeed in forcing a floor vote if 19 House Democrats join all 198 Republicans and one Libertarian in signing.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.