CHARLESTON — Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of President Trump’s Congressional Economic Task Force, today released the below statement following the bipartisan deal announced for additional appropriations to restart the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The PPP was created through the CARES Act to help small businesses pay employees and remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, the PPP provided $349 billion to support federally guaranteed Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

The program ran out of money on April 16. According to SBA data, nearly 1.7 million loans were issued by almost 5,000 lenders saving well over 15 million jobs nationwide in just two weeks.

In West Virginia as of recently, SBA has reported that there have been approximately 7,618 approved PPP loans totaling $1.3 billion.

Today’s legislation will provide an additional $310 billion for the PPP program. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will receive an additional $50 billion for loans and $10 billion for small business grants.

“Since the funding for the popular PPP has run out, tens of thousands of small businesses have been in limbo. People have been laid off. Some businesses have been forced to shut their doors. All of that could have been avoided by replenishing the program, which Republicans proposed twelve days ago, but Democrats blocked.

“As a member of the president’s Congressional Economic Task Force, we’ve been working to get this program back up and running so we can deliver the resources our small businesses desperately need. PPP and EIDL have always been a bipartisan effort, which is why we shouldn’t have been in this position in the first place. I’m glad we reached a deal today that will provide our small businesses some certainty, as well as additional resources for our medical professionals and additional support for response efforts. There is nothing more pro-worker than keeping our West Virginia workers on the payroll, and that is exactly what the PPP does.

“West Virginia medical providers have already received $246 million from the CARES Act. Nationally, there is still $70 billion in funding from the CARES Act for medical providers across the country that has not yet been spent. This legislation provides another $75 billion in addition to the CARES Act funding for medical providers across the country. There is strong bipartisan support for our hospitals, and we’ll continue making sure all have the funds they need to weather this storm, especially those in the most rural areas of our state. I am also very pleased that a bipartisan agreement to provide $25 billion for additional COVID-19 testing is included in this bill.

“Moving forward, I hope we can build on this bipartisan spirit as we work to help provide more aid for Americans struggling during this uncertain time. Taking advantage of crises to insert partisan agenda items wastes time and ultimately hurts the American people. They deserve better, particularly during this unpredictable time.”