Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) slammed Democrat leadership on Tuesday for taking two weeks to agree to additional funding for small businesses.
McConnell said in a statement on Tuesday:
I am just sorry that it took my colleagues in Democratic leadership 12 days to accept the inevitable, and that they shut down emergency support for Main Street in a search for partisan ‘leverage’ that never materialized. The American people are counting on Congress to put aside reflexive partisanship and work across the aisle to help our nation through this pandemic.
Congressional leaders and the Donald Trump administration agreed to a new deal that would provide for $484 billion in aid to small businesses, hospitals, and additional coronavirus testing. The Senate will vote on Tuesday, hoping to approve the bill by voice vote.
The deal reportedly contains $321 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides aid to small businesses. The legislation also includes $60 billion in loans and grants for economic disaster assistance, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.
“We have a deal, and I believe we will pass it today,” Schumer said on CNN.
“I think it will go a long way for small businesses,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said on Tuesday.
Democrats have spent nearly two weeks blocking Senate Republicans’ initial offer to do a simple $250 billion renewal of the PPP. Democrats wanted a broader spending package that sent aid to hospitals and local governments.
“Democratic leaders blocked the money and spent days trying to negotiate extraneous issues that were never on the table. I am grateful our colleagues have walked away from those demands and will finally let Congress act,” McConnell added.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Small Business Committee, echoed McConnell’s sentiment, saying:
For more than a week, small businesses and their employees were held hostage after my Democratic colleagues blocked additional funding for the PPPThis long-overdue deal will finally allow the SBA to resume approving PPP loans. It will also help preserve funds for mission lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions in order to ensure small businesses in underserved and rural communities have access to PPP loans. When these funds run out, we cannot allow partisan games to once again jeopardize the lives and the livelihoods of Americans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) objections to a simple refunding of the PPP has led to countless small businesses getting harmed in the crosshairs.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has collected “heartbreaking” stories from small businesses across the country that can no longer obtain a PPP loan due to Pelosi and Schumer’s objections over the last two weeks.
Scalise told Breitbart News that the PPP has “been incredibly successful, and it’s literally the only thing holding these businesses together, and now she and AOC and some of these other radicals are trying to use these workers’ jobs as leverage to get unrelated things like the Green New Deal. It’s sickening to watch.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.