The Senate passed legislation on June 3 that would give Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan recipients greater flexibility in how to spend their funds while still remaining eligible for forgiveness. The Senate passed H.R. 7010 unanimously and President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. Some of the main provisions of the new bill gives PPP loan recipients 24 weeks to spend PPP funds – a dramatic increase from the current requirement that businesses spend PPP funds within 8 weeks. The bill also changes the threshold for the amount of PPP funds required to be spent on payroll from 75 to 60 percent of the loan amount. However, to be eligible for forgiveness borrowers must spend at least 60% of the loan on payroll or none of the loan will be forgiven. There are several more changes in the new bill that may have consequences for your business. For more information on how the new law changes the existing rules for PPP forgiveness click here.
On Wednesday, House Democrats rolled out their proposal for a surface transportation bill that would spend $494 billion over next five years. As soon as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released their proposal, Republicans criticized the committee for not taking Republican concerns into account. Republicans also criticized the proposal for giving funding priority to urban areas at the expense of rural communities.
Senate Republicans seem to be changing their position as it relates to federal augmentation of unemployment benefits. Last month, Senate Majority Leader McConnell vowed not to renew the $600 weekly boost to state unemployment benefits from the federal government. However, with the continued rise in unemployment due to COVID-19 and projections that there may be double digit unemployment into 2021, Republicans appear to be more open to continuing the federal supplements to state unemployment benefits. The second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, Senator John Thune (R-SD), stated with regards to federal augmentation of unemployment benefits that the federal increase of weekly unemployment benefits could last until the end of the year depending on how long the current economic downturn lasts.
Former United Auto Workers (UAW) President Gary Jones pled guilty to racketeering and embezzlement on Wednesday. Jones’s guilty plea came after a multi-year investigation by the federal government into the lavish spending and misappropriation union dues by Jones and other UAW board members.
Effective June 1, 2020, Ford Motor Company ended its lighting and bumper core return program. Today, ARA issued a press release responding to Ford’s cancellation of the recovery program. ARA President Scott Robertson said about the issue that “It’s clear that over the past several years, Ford and other auto manufacturers have taken aggressive steps to push the automotive recycling as well as remanufacturing and aftermarket industries out of the market… I find it highly suspect how in 2012, Ford can publicly acknowledge that their original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts still have a lot of life left, yet they’ve taken every position to the contrary when it comes to the recycled, genuine OEM parts sold by our members. The professional automotive recycling industry is the true champion of recycling here, and I think Ford’s termination of this program shows that.”
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