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On Thursday morning, Senate Democrats blocked an emergency measure which would provide small businesses with much needed money to help them survive the coronavirus crisis.
The bill would free up another $250 billion in small business loans however Democrats blocked it, saying they wanted “add-ons to help businesses in disadvantaged communities and additional funding for states and hospitals.”
Check out what the Daily Wire reported:
The news comes amid a Department of Labor report showing an astounding 10% of the American workforce has now applied for unemployment insurance and concerns that small businesses are rapidly running out of survival time, especially as most states have now extended coronavirus-related lockdowns until the end of April.
Originally, an emergency coronavirus relief measure, negotiated by the Senate, featured a $350 billion fund for small businesses, but demand has far exceeded supply, leaving Republicans begging Democrats to help pass an emergency cash infusion to save American entrepreneurs.
According to Fox News, the measure would bolster the Paycheck Protection Act which “helps businesses with under 500 employees apply for loans up to cover eight weeks of their payroll, benefit and rent expenses. The loans will be converted to grants and fully forgiven if 75% of the loan is used to keep employees on the payroll.”
The plan will be depleted by the end of the month which is why Republicans are desperately trying to replenish the necessary cash immediately.
“The extra funding is being sought amid concerns that the original $350 billion program to help businesses stay afloat during coronavirus pandemic could run dry in the near future in the face of an enormous demand,” Fox News reports. “McConnell pleaded with Democrats to pass a measure that would change the funding for the program from $350 billion to $600 billion total in a ‘clean’ emergency measure.”
The Democrats’ plan will allegedly cost “double” than the one Republicans hoped to pass.
“Democrats say they’ve got a better plan, and want additional provisions and protections to help businesses in disadvantaged communities,” Fox News continued. “Their proposal would cost roughly double the Republicans’ and include additional funding for hospitals and local governments.”
McConnell was furious. The Daily Wire continues:
“This does not have to be nor should it be contentious,” he said, adding that lawmakers who want greater handouts to “disadvantaged communities” can include that in the fourth coronavirus relief bill, currently being drafted by the House of Representatives.
“To my Democratic colleagues, please do not block emergency aid you do not even oppose just because you want something more,” he added. “The country cannot afford unnecessary wrangling or political maneuvering.”
Democrats contended that McConnell’s plan was a “stunt” and that, while the measure might have passed the Senate by unanimous consent, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wasn’t about to allow it through the House without significant debate, particularly given that she has her own relief plan on the agenda for when Congress returns to work in three weeks.