Kennedy, Risch, Hickenlooper introduce bill to simplify loan applications for small businesses

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) in introducing the Streamlining EIDL Act to improve the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application process for small businesses and to fight fraud in the program.

“Louisiana’s small businesses contend with enough adversity as it is. They don’t need bureaucracy to make it harder to get straight answers on their EIDL applications or to combat fraud. I’m thankful to work with Sens. Risch and Hickenlooper to improve the EIDL program so that small businesses can get back to investing in their communities,” said Kennedy.

“Small businesses in Idaho have struggled to get meaningful answers on their EIDL applications from the SBA. They’ve been forced to submit the same document multiple times, received vague and ambiguous responses from the agency, and in some cases, had to contend with fraudsters submitting false applications on their behalf. Small businesses deserve a program that actually functions the way it should, and the Streamlining EIDL Act will go a long way to fix the flaws in the EIDL application process and make these disaster loans accessible to small businesses,” said Risch.            

“Economic Injury Disaster Loans have been a lifeline for small businesses throughout the pandemic. This bill will help businesses stay open and prevent fraud, a win-win,” said Hickenlooper.

Applicants to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) EIDL program often experience a lag in the application process because of slow and unorganized review procedures. Applicants also have to contend with fraudulent applications submitted in their names.

The Streamlining EIDL Act would:

  • Impose deadlines on the EIDL program application process,
  • Require the SBA to conduct a comprehensive review of the process for submitting EIDL applications,
  • Direct the SBA to submit a report to Congress detailing steps it has taken to correct how it has handled identity theft cases, and
  • Require the SBA to report how it has recovered improper payments and how it is reconciling previous identity theft allegations with newly filed identity theft allegations.

Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.) also cosponsored the legislation.

Text of the Streamlining EIDL Act is available here.

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