Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher have signed a discharge petition calling for a vote on H.R. 8265, a bill to extend the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the end of the year and release nearly $135 billion in unspent funds. The bill would also reform the application process to allow certain businesses who meet specific requirements to apply for a second loan as the pandemic continues to harm economic conditions.

“It is frustrating that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats continue to block a vote on commonsense legislation to help small businesses who are being harmed by the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Simpson. “H.R. 8265 would help businesses keep their doors open and perhaps more importantly, retain employees so American families can continue to receive much needed paychecks. I don’t understand why supporting a program that helps keep people employed is controversial. Just last night, Democrats released a plan to spend an additional $2.3 trillion instead of allowing agencies to spend existing funds to help Americans. This type of thinking is why we are fast approaching a national debt of $27 trillion when a simple solution to use existing resources is right in front of us.”

“Helping small businesses stay afloat during a pandemic should not be a partisan issue,” said Fulcher. “Despite support from many members of Speaker Pelosi’s own party to put politics aside and bring up a vote on a clean extension of the PPP program, it still hasn’t happened. Instead, like last night, we see ultra-partisan bills, with no chance of becoming law, being brought up. Already the PPP program has saved over 50 million jobs, and there is still money in the program. I am proud to support this discharge petition to show our small businesses that they are much more important than political games.”

If the discharge petition reaches 218 signatures, it would allow for a vote on H.R. 8265 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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