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Sens. Cruz, Rubio, Capito, Tillis Introduce Loan Interest Forgiveness for Taxpayers Under a Pandemic Act

Legislation would provide small businesses debt forgiveness for SBA disaster loans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) today introduced the Loan Interest Forgiveness for Taxpayers Under a Pandemic (LIFT UP) Act, legislation that would expand the eligibility for debt forgiveness provided in the CARES Act to small businesses that received Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it's important we provide job creators the tools they need to grow our way out of this crisis," Sen. Cruz said. "In Texas, many small businesses are still trying to recover and rebuild from Hurricane Harvey - and took out SBA disaster loans to do just that. Providing those business owners loan forgiveness will go a long way in lessening the burden of yet another loan due to the pandemic. By empowering businesses, we'll be able to get our economy roaring once again."

"Small businesses across our nation have been fighting to endure the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the mandatory public health closures," Sen. Rubio said. "Businesses that have been able to receive relief from SBA's Disaster Assistance loan programs from previous non-COVID related disasters should have equitable debt relief deferral consistent with other SBA loan programs in the CARES Act. I am proud to work with Senators Cruz, Capito, and Tillis on this important bill to give our small firms the certainty they need to weather this crisis with peace of mind."

"There is no question that small businesses in West Virginia and across America have taken a hit during this pandemic," Sen. Capito said. "However, many businesses were already in the process of recovering from other setbacks prior to COVID-19, which has only added to their burdens. The LIFT UP Act would provide necessary relief for businesses that received SBA disaster loans dating back to January 2015, which is especially helpful for businesses like those in West Virginia that received loans-and are still in the process of repaying-related to the 2016 floods. I am confident that with legislation like the LIFT UP Act, we can continue to provide our businesses with the tools needed to overcome these challenges and get through this difficult time."

"As hardworking North Carolinians continue to do everything they can to stay in business during this pandemic, Congress must have their backs," Sen. Tillis said. "This commonsense legislation will expand the eligibility for loan forgiveness for small businesses and give them the flexibility and relief they need as our economy continues to recover."

"The Texas Association of Business proudly support Senator Cruz's legislation providing critical relief to all businesses who are recovering from recent natural disasters, including COVID-19 and Hurricane Harvey," Jeff Moseley, President and CEO, Texas Association of Business said. "Many Texas businesses who received government assistance for Hurricane Harvey are still recovering so it makes sense to provide this benefit for businesses to help them withstand this second punch from COVID-19. Texas employers have worked tirelessly to protect their workforce, customers and neighbors and to get back to full strength. TAB applauds Sen. Cruz ‘s new legislation which will go a long way towards us reaching that goal."

"NFIB has heard from small business owner members about the need for debt relief for existing disaster assistance loans," Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB Vice President of Government Relations said. "COVID-19 and the government responses to the pandemic stifled small business recovery efforts from previous disasters. This legislation provides the much needed relief and is consistent with other CARES Act debt relief provisions. NFIB thanks Senator Cruz for introducing the LIFT UP Act to address small business owner constituents' needs."

The LIFT UP Act would extend the six months of debt forgiveness provided in Section 1112 of the CARES Act to small businesses that received SBA Business Physical Disaster Loans or non-COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Sen. Cruz has continued to lead the fight in making sure that the SBA has the available resources needed to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus. In March, Sen. Cruz sent a letter to President Trump urging him to work with State of Texas emergency management officials and the SBA to increase awareness of the many financial tools available to assist Texans. Read more about his efforts here.

The full text of the legislation can be read here.