Senate passes bill to extend PPP application deadline; measure awaits House action

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(Fox News) – Lawmakers in the Senate passed a bill Tuesday to extend the window for business owners to apply for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, which expired Tuesday.

In a vote with unanimous consent, lawmakers in the chamber agreed on pushing the application deadline to Aug. 8.

The bill still requires approval in the House.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said on Twitter Tuesday said that while he had no objection to the bill, he believed many of the small businesses that needed the funds already applied for it – arguing for the need for a second round of aid.

Earlier on Tuesday Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there was about $135 billion left over in unclaimed funds that had not been lent to small business owners.

Mnuchin mentioned the possibility of extending the funding to businesses – like bars and restaurants – that have been hardest hit by the domestic outbreak.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to incentivize companies with fewer than 500 employees to keep staff despite difficult economic conditions that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants can receive up to $10 million, which can be forgiven in certain cases. At least 75 percent of the money must be put toward payroll costs – the other portion can be used for mortgage interest, utilities and rent.