As discussion for a larger stimulus package remains ongoing, yesterday, the House by a margin of 417-1, passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
, standalone legislation to provide flexibility to the popular PPP program. It is still unclear if the Senate will take up this legislation or adopt a similar compromise bill, but the core tenants have received bipartisan support and given the near unanimous approval, it is expected that the Senate will address upon return from its Memorial Day recess next week. Perhaps most importantly, given Republican control of the upper chamber, the White House has indicated the President would sign the House bill. Specific changes the legislation would enact which may have relevance to the spine community include: extending the PPP loan forgiveness period to include costs incurred over 24 weeks after a loan is issued or through Dec. 31, whichever comes first, extending to Dec. 31 from June 30 a period in which loans can be forgiven if businesses restore staffing or salary levels that were previously reduced, extending the deadline to apply for a PPP loan to Dec. 31 from June 30, barring the Small Business Administration (SBA) from limiting loan forgiveness for expenses other than payroll, and repealing a provision from the CARES Act that barred companies with forgiven PPP loans from deferring their payroll tax payments.