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Senator Collins Expresses Support for COVID-19 Relief, Highlights Small Business Provision She Co-Authored

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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, delivered remarks from the Senate floor this evening prior to the Senate’s vote on a government funding bill and $900 billion COVID-19 emergency relief package.


The COVID-19 relief package was based on the framework developed by a bipartisan, bicameral group led by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Collins, and Mark Warner (D-VA).  It includes a provision Senator Collins co-authoredthat will allow the hardest-hit small businesses to receive a second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.   


“I am proud to have helped lead a bipartisan, bicameral coalition that literally worked, night and day, to develop a common-sense plan that provided the foundation for this final agreement,” said Senator Collins.


“There are many important components of the package before us, including assistance for struggling families, additional funding for testing, vaccine distribution, and health care providers resources to help our schools operate safely in a COVID environment, aid for the Postal Service, and for airlines, airports, mass transit, and motorcoach companies that keep our country moving,” Senator Collins continued.  “I come to the floor tonight, however, to focus on one aspect of the agreement. And that is the extension and expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program.  The PPP has been a critical lifeline for more than five million small employers. At one point, helping to sustain the jobs of upwards of 50 million Americans. It was one of the most successful programs in the CARES Act.”


Earlier this year, Senators Collins, Rubio, Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) co-authored the PPP to help small employers stay afloat and continue paying their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In Maine alone, the PPP has provided approximately $2.3 billion in forgivable loans to three out of four small businesses and helped sustain more than 250,000 jobs.