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Thomas Gallatin / Apr. 13, 2020

Dems Take Relief Money for Small Businesses Hostage

Congressional Democrats blocked additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday tried to add $250 billion to the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the part of the recently passed $2.2 trillion CARES Act that provides forgivable loans to small businesses. Following higher-than-expected demand, less than a week after the PPP was instituted, only $98 billion remained. McConnell sought to pass simple and clean additional funding to the program via a two page bill. “We’re not talking about making any policy changes,” McConnell explained. “We’re literally changing the number $350 [billion] to $600 [billion].”

However, McConnell’s aim of getting unanimous consent to ensure that small businesses are able to obtain needed loans for payroll was scuttled by the Democrats. The reason? They want to load up any additional PPP spending with more funding and regulations to benefit their constituencies. Democrats want at least $45 billion in additional funding specifically delineated for “small community-based lenders” like “minority depository institutions, certified development corporations, [and] micro-lenders.” They’re calling for an additional $100 billion to healthcare workers, plus another $150 billion to states and localities to backfill tax revenue. And of course they want more money for food stamps while removing any work-requirements for the next two years.

As The Wall Street Journal editorial board notes, the additional demands are totally unnecessary. “PPP money is already going to banks large and small, through a network that includes any existing Small Business Administration lender and any federally insured bank or credit union,” the editors write. “The money is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, which means farmers, women and minorities have the same opportunities as others. Any plan that seeks to allocate dollars on the basis of identity politics introduces bureaucratic interference and delay.”

It’s obvious that congressional Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have little interest in helping small businesses stay afloat during this China Virus-induced economic crisis. Instead, their focus is upon taking advantage of the crisis to further their own big-government political agenda. Pelosi and Schumer would rather hold the country hostage to their special-interest demands than do what’s best for the country. Of course, with the help of the Leftmedia providing them cover — as epitomized by CNN blatantly changing its initial headline from “Democrats block a GOP-led funding boost for small business aid program” to “Senate at stalemate over more COVID-19 aid” — Democrats believe they can get away with it.

Meanwhile, Pelosi spun the Republicans’ rationale for seeking an additional $250 billion in PPP aid as merely a political “stunt.” She then erroneously asserted that there was no data to support the request for “a quarter of a trillion dollars in 48 hours.” Now she’s concerned with debt? Consolidating government power is more important to Pelosi and company than is the urgency of working to save America’s small businesses.

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