Mnuchin: Additional Legislation Needed to Streamline PPP Forgiveness Process

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee today, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would reach out to the Small Business Administration “this afternoon” about how they could further streamline the forgiveness process for Paycheck Protection program loans, though he signaled that additional legislation may be needed.

“We would support if there is legislation to have loans under $150,00 have a presumption but allow for us to audit them as needed,” Mnuchin said. He added that borrowers with loans under $150,000 shouldn’t delay in filling out the existing EZ application, “but if we could get legislation that would help them, that would be great.”

Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also urged Congress to reauthorize the PPP so that the remaining $130 billion could be used to make additional loans to struggling small businesses. Both also agreed that additional, targeted fiscal support would likely be needed to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on individuals and businesses. Powell added that “our banks so far have really been a source of strength” through the crisis thus far.

ABA continues to call on lawmakers to pass two bills—S. 4117, sponsored by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and H.R. 7777, a House companion bill sponsored by Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.)—before adjourning ahead of the November election. Both bills would forgive PPP loans of less than $150,000 upon the borrower’s completion of a simple, one-page forgiveness document.