Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC Tuesday that the Small Business Administration would undertake a "full review" of any loan that exceeds $2 million under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The big picture: Mnuchin's announcement comes after large corporations and organizations — like Shake Shack and the Los Angeles Lakers, which both returned their loans — have come under fire for receiving cash from the coronavirus stimulus program.

  • "I think it was inappropriate for most of these companies to take the loans. It was clear there was a certification. We don't think that they ever should have been allowed to," Mnuchin told CNBC.

The state of play: The government has set up guardrails for who should and shouldn't apply as the PPP opened its second round of applications this week.

Note: Axios qualified for a loan under this program. More details here. 

Go deeper

Republicans push to expand small business loan program

Senators Marco Rubio and Susan Collins. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Tuesday filed two big amendments to legislation introduced last week that would extend the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans and permit some recipients to apply for new PPP loans.

Why it matters: The current program expires on Saturday, despite more than $100 billion left over from the CARES Act.

GOP senator says stimulus needs to be as "narrowly focused" on COVID-19 as possible

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said at an Axios virtual event Wednesday that the next coronavirus relief package needs to be as "narrowly focused" on COVID-specific issues as possible in order to resolve the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

Why it matters: Democrats and negotiators from the Trump administration remain far apart on a deal for the next tranche of relief. The fraught negotiations come as millions of Americans continue to suffer from the health and economic effects of the pandemic without the unemployment benefits from the first stimulus bill.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The weekly number of new global coronavirus cases reported last week reached its highest level yet, the World Health Organization said.

The big picture: From September 14-20, there were nearly 2 million new cases, a 6% increase compared to the previous week, the WHO said.

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