Senate reaches surprise deal to extend Paycheck Protect Program -- but House action may not happen before recess: report
Composite image of Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell (screengrabs)

Senators have passed an emergency extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

"The Senate reached a surprise last-minute deal late Tuesday to extend the small-business Paycheck Protection Program through Aug. 8, passing it just hours before the lending program was set to shut down at midnight," the newspaper reported. "Prospects for the legislation in the House, however, were uncertain. Both chambers are set to adjourn for a two-week recess by week’s end."

The newspaper gave credit for the behind-the-scenes negotiations to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) along with Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE).

"The Senate acted by unanimous consent to extend the Tuesday midnight deadline for when the PPP can accept applications for forgivable loans for an additional five weeks. It came as the program was poised to shut down to new users with more than $130 billion left untapped. Lawmakers were working on legislation to redirect the remaining funding to additional businesses, but no such deal was expected to be reached until late July, and meanwhile the money left in the program would be sitting unspent," the newspaper explained.

The legislation faces hurdles in the House of Representatives.

"Even if the House manages to pass the measure before adjourning this week, though, thorny questions still remain unresolved about how to repurpose the funds left in the program. Demand for the remaining money has slowed to a trickle, a dramatic change since the program was launched in April and immediately overwhelmed by demand," the newspaper explained.