PPP At Risk Of Running Out Of Money As Democrats Delay Extra Funding

(AmericanPoliticalDaily.Com)- One of the key programs of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package was relief to small business owners that were dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal government set aside $349 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which was created to help small businesses pay their workers instead of laying them off or furloughing them. But only a few weeks after the program was announced, almost 90% of the funds have already been allocated.
This caused the program to “grind to a halt” Wednesday night, according to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the chair of the Senate Small Business Committee.
Republicans in Congress have already attempted to add more funds for small businesses by passing a fourth stimulus bill, but Democrats put a stop to that quickly as they looked to include some of their long-standing partisan policies into it.
On Twitter Wednesday, Rubio called the politics during negotiations “inexcusable.”
“Now, 700000 small business applications are in limbo & no new loans will be made until the game of chicken in Congress ends & additional $ approved,” he tweeted.
Almost immediately after the PPP went live in early April, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, realized how popular it was and asked Congress to allocated $250 billion more to the program to keep it going. As of yet, Republicans and Democrats haven’t been able to come to an agreement on doing that, though both sides have said they’d support adding funds to the program.
Democrats haven’t given approval to adding money to the PPP unless language is inserted that would also boost funding for hospitals as well as state and local governments. In addition, they want food stamp benefits to increase, as well as a mandate that a portion of PPP funds go to minority- and women-owned businesses.
The Democrats’ counter bill was rejected by the Republicans.
The top Republicans in both chambers — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — said the Democrats were holding American workers “hostage” while they demanded political gain for “unrelated” programs.
In a statement, the pair said the Democrats’ demands include “hundreds of billions of extra dollars for parts of the legislation which are still coming online and have not yet spent a single dollar.”
They continued:
“American workers are in crisis. Nobody except Washington Democrats seems to be unclear on this fact or confused about the urgency. Republicans reject Democrats’ reckless threat to continue blocking job-saving funding unless we renegotiate unrelated programs which are not in similar peril.”
While Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, said he saw “no reason” why an agreement couldn’t be reached, he also said the party has no plans to relent. Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, said he was hopeful a deal could be struck soon as well, but couldn’t promise it would happen before the end of the week.
The PPP started on April 3, and 1.4 million applications that total more than $305 billion have already been approved, the Small Business Administratio