Democrats Counter GOP Push On Small Business Relief

WASHINGTON ― Republicans tried to get the jump on Democrats on Tuesday by quickly moving to approve hundreds of billions for a new program designed to prevent layoffs at small businesses. They said the program was already running out of money and needed to be replenished swiftly by Congress as early as Friday. But on…

Democrats Counter GOP Push On Small Business Relief

WASHINGTON ― Republicans tried to get the jump on Democrats on Tuesday by quickly moving to approve hundreds of billions for a new program designed to prevent layoffs at small businesses. They said the program was already running out of money and needed to be replenished swiftly by Congress as early as Friday.
But on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made clear they would be seeking additional funding for their priorities on top of the $250 billion sought by Republicans for the so-called Paycheck Protection Program.
The program was included in the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill Congress passed less than two weeks ago. Its original $350 billion in funding was meant to offer small businesses forgivable loans of up to $10 million to cover their payrolls for eight weeks. If they don’t lay off their workers or slash their pay, then the loan is forgiven.
The Small Business Administration has said that thousands of loans totaling tens of billions of dollars have already been processed ― but it’s not clear how much actual lending has happened yet. The administration has struggled to get the program running smoothly, and many business owners have had difficulties either applying for or receiving a loan.
Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement that they support funneling $250 billion in additional funding to the program so long as half of that amount is channeled through “community-based financial institution
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