On Wednesday evening, the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program reform bill by voice vote. The bill was previously passed by the House and now awaits President Donald Trump's signature.
Earlier in the afternoon, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin objected to a prior effort to pass the bill with unanimous consent, CNN reports.
The bill would give business owners more flexibility and time to use loan money while still getting it forgiven. The Paycheck Protection Program was set up to help small businesses who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We can't wait any longer. Businesses are really suffering for lack of these changes," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.
"We must get this done. Businesses are going under every day," he added.
The vote to pass the bill in the House was nearly unanimous at 417-1. Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky was the only person to vote against the bill.
The bill allows businesses to qualify for loan forgiveness up to 24 weeks. It also offers more flexibility with the so-called 75/25 rule, which requires that people who receive aid under the program use 3/4 of the money they receive for payroll costs.
The new ratio would mean 60% can go towards payroll and the remaining 40% can be put towards other costs.