In response to efforts by the U.S. federal government to establish financial assistance and support for small businesses amid the crisis caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus, or COVID-19, Democratic Party senators blocked a legislative measure proposed by the Republicans, which sought to increase the amount of the loan program.
As the Western Journal indicated, under the suspicion that the $350 billion originally allocated to the Paycheck Protection Program, established by the Economic Assistance, Relief and Security Act, would not be enough, the Republicans decided to approve an additional $250 billion.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “It is quickly becoming clear that Congress will need to provide more funding or this crucial program may run dry. That cannot happen.”
“Congress needs to act with speed and total focus to provide more money for this uncontroversial bipartisan program,” he added.
The legislation led by McConnell was expected to pass unanimously Thursday, but Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and other party members opposed the measure, thereby obstructing the Trump administration’s plan to strengthen the small business funding program.
Senate Democrats do not support the legislation proposed by the Republicans because they argue that half of the additional amount should go to “community financial institutions,” arguing that they help minority, veteran, and rural American businesses across the country, National Public Radio reported.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) supported the Senate measure, he said, “America’s small businesses are working hard to support their employees and the communities they live in. To help them do that, Congress has passed the most ambitious relief package in history for small businesses with the Paycheck Protection Program.”
“The demand for that program has been overwhelming and in just one week, the federal government has provided tens of billions of dollars in relief,” McCarthy added.
He suggested that House Democrats should support the measure to give confidence to small businesses across the country so they know the government stands behind them.
According to Breitbart News, McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin argue that the program was designed to keep employees on the payroll and pay their rent would soon run out after its first $350 billion infusion was triggered as businesses add to the support.
The Trump administration’s workforce-driven financial assistance measure for Americans is part of the government’s efforts to mitigate the country’s looming financial crisis in the face of the threat of the CCP virus.
That’s why President Trump announced weeks ago that he wanted to “go big” and not have to establish several sessions of Congress in order to implement the additional stimulus measures, so he planned to implement a law immediately.
Mnuchin announced, “We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately. What we heard from hardworking Americans, many companies are now shut down whether bars or restaurants, Americans need cash now and the president wants to get [them] cash now. I mean now in the next two weeks.”
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with money to pay for up to eight weeks of payroll costs and benefits, as well as funds to spend on rent and some other costs, according to the Western Journal.