Warren Buffett Calls On Congress To Provide More PPP For Small Businesses

PPP loan

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett is calling on Congress to provide more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses to help them survive the pandemic slowdown, which he likened to “an economic war.”

“I think the country owes it to the millions of small-business people … just renew the PPP and get us to the end of the tunnel,” Buffett told CNBC during an interview on Tuesday (Dec. 15). “When we went into World War II, a lot of industries were shut down; everything went to the defense production. Well, we’ve shut down a lot of people in this particular induced recession, and others are prospering.”

The deadline to apply for PPP loans expired earlier this year, but funds still remain in the program’s coffers, according to CNBC.

Congress has been at loggerheads for months trying to hammer out a stimulus package that is palatable to both parties. On Monday (Dec. 14), lawmakers finally unveiled a bipartisan $908 billion stimulus bill that would provide an additional $300 billion to support small businesses, including restaurants and entertainment venues.

Buffett told CNBC that by failing to act, Congress has been “in the process of dashing the dreams of tens of thousands. Congress should act.”

A key sticking point in negotiating a new stimulus bill has been whether it should include new individual checks, CNBC reported on Monday (Dec. 14).

The $1,200 checks sent out to adults early in the pandemic were a cornerstone of the CARES Act passed in March, but lawmakers have varied in assessing whether to allow for that kind of aid again.

Excluding the personal checks could be a mistake, according to Ioana Marinescu, assistant professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, CNBC reported. Marinescu said the stimulus checks “would ensure that nobody who needs help would fall through the cracks, while at the same time providing stimulus for businesses who would get more customers.”