U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted for the first of two measures intended to overcome partisan obstruction and begin delivering additional COVID-19 relief to the nation.

Unfortunately, Senate Democrats effectively blocked consideration of the Continuing Paycheck Protection Program Act.  The measure would have provided $257.64 billion to support the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and PPP Second Draw Loans.

“We all recognize that the Paycheck Protection Program successfully kept hard-hit small businesses and their employees afloat as the coronavirus battered our economy.  It’s a shame that Senate Democrats continue to cling to an all-or-nothing strategy instead of getting real help out the door right now,” Hyde-Smith said.  “The PPP benefitted many Mississippians, who now look to Congress to do more to help our economy.”

In addition to supporting PPP and PPP Second Draw Loans, the Continuing Paycheck Protection Program Act would have simplified the PPP loan forgiveness process and expanded forgivable expenses.  It would have also established a specific PPP loan calculation for farmers and ranchers, and provided the Farm Credit System Institutions with greater certainty and equity in PPP lending participation.

“We will not give up on delivering responsible, targeted assistance to where it is most urgently needed,” Hyde-Smith said.

On Wednesday, the Senate will attempt to proceed to a broader $500 billion targeted relief package that addresses more PPP, unemployment benefits, safe school operations, COVID tests needs, vaccine development, and healthcare needs.  This package also includes significant support for agricultural interests.

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Release from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.