WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) a member of the Senate Banking and Senate Budget committees, introduced three amendments to be included as part of the next COVID-19 relief package. They include legislation to streamline small business forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, implement a workplace safety tax credit, and bolster support for broadband access in rural areas. Senator Cramer previously introduced these bipartisan bills as standalone pieces of legislation.
“Since we passed the CARES Act, members of both parties have been working together to craft agreeable, realistic solutions to combat the effects of COVID-19,” said Senator Cramer. “The amendments offered today are bills written with Democrats and supported by Democrats. I urge my colleagues to reject unserious legislation like the HEROES Act, come to the negotiating table, and help us pass important legislation aimed at defeating the virus, saving jobs, and helping children.”
The three bills Senator Cramer is offering as amendments are as follows:
- Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act: Senator Cramer with Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced this bipartisan legislation in June. It streamlines forgiveness for PPP loans of $150,000 or less, which account for 86 percent of PPP loans but only 27 percent of PPP funds. It is backed by 27 senators including Senators Doug Jones (D-AL) Joe Manchin, (D-WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Learn more here.
- Keeping Critical Connections Act: Senator Cramer introduced this bipartisan, bicameral legislation with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in March. It provides funds for smaller broadband providers to be compensated for broadband services — if they provided free or discounted broadband services or upgrades — during COVID-19 for low-income families who could not afford to pay their bills or provided distance learning capability for students. It is cosponsored by 35 senators including Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Doug Jones (D-AL). Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT-AL) and Roger Marshall (R-KS-01) introduced the House companion. Learn more here.
- Workplace Safety Tax Credit: Senator Cramer introduced this bipartisan legislation with Senator Sinema in June. It offsets the costs of safely and smartly reopening in 2020 and provides a slightly lower tax credit to employers in 2021 as they continue to maintain safe workplaces. It is limited to two years and to companies with less than 2,000 full-time employees. Learn more here.