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Lankford Introduces Bipartisan PPP Forgiveness Bill

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today announced he joined Senator Kevin Cramer’s (R-ND) bipartisan Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act. The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act streamlines forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits a simple, one-page attestation form to the lender. The approximately 4.2 million PPP loans of $150,000 or less account for 85 percent of all PPP approved loans but only 26 percent of the PPP funds delivered. The bill is endorsed by more than 200 trade groups and associations, earning the support of small business groups like the National Federation of Independent Business, local and national lending associations representing credit unions and bankers, and labor groups.

Lankford and Cramer are joined on this bill by Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Cornyn (R-TX), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Doug Jones (D-AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Mike Enzi (R-WY).

“The federal government needs to make good on its promises to Oklahoma small businesses and lenders with the PPP program and make loan forgiveness straight forward and efficient,” said Lankford. “Simplifying the process for loans of $150,000 and less will ensure small businesses and financial institutions can get loans processed in a timely manner and provide a safe harbor for lenders, while maintaining the requirements and auditability standards from the CARES Act and subsequent guidance from SBA. I appreciate Oklahoma’s lenders who stepped up to the plate to get PPP loans out the door quickly and properly, and I look forward to this bipartisan bill’s passage to streamline the PPP loan application and forgiveness process.”

“The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act would give our small businesses peace of mind and remove the anxiety placed on them by the bureaucracy’s cumbersome forgiveness process,” said Cramer. “I am grateful to my colleagues for their support, and I look forward to working with them to pass our bill when the Senate returns in September.”

“The PPP program is working. In Oklahoma alone, the program has helped hundreds of thousands of employees retain their jobs through loans to small businesses, but expensive and time consuming paperwork still looms. I want our small businesses to be able to focus on safely reopening, not government paperwork and red tape. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to streamline the forgiveness process for smaller loans which represent 89 percent of all the loans in Oklahoma—to provide certainty to our local businesses,” said Inhofe.

In April, Lankford sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza asking them to clarify the eligibility of private equity or venture capital-backed small businesses for PPP. A bipartisan group of eight Senators pursued clarity on the eligibility of publicly owned hospitals and care providers to access PPP support, and the entire Oklahoma delegation pushed for Administration to allow publicly owned hospitals the ability to access PPP funds. For both the PPP program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs, He also called for clarity to ensure Oklahoma small businesses weren’t penalized for multiple loan application attempts. Lankford also sent a letter along with 44 other senators to ask the Trump Administration to ease paperwork requirements for small businesses seeking loan forgiveness under the PPP.