The House passed legislation on Thursday that would extend aid to small businesses and hospitals after Democrats waited two weeks to pass the legislation during the coronavirus outbreak.
The House passed Senate Amendment 1580 to H.R. 266, which would extend aid to small businesses, hospitals, and additional coronavirus testing.
The House voted overwhelmingly for the bill, with 388 votes in favor of the measures, and only five votes against.
The legislation 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.
The PPP ran out last week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) objected to a simple renewal of the PPP.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) slammed Democrats on the House floor for holding up small business aid Thursday. He said:
This is not about leveraging families who are struggling and hanging, and businesses who can barely make it, while you try to go for other items. Help those who are in need and negotiate on other things that we can get agreement on but don’t hold hostages during this time.
The House Republican Whip has chastised Democrats for using aid to small businesses as “leverage.” Scalise called it “sickening” in an interview with Breitbart News this week. Scalise also collected stories from companies across his district and the country that can no longer obtain a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan due to Pelosi’s objection to a simple renewal of the program.
Scalise said 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.”
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for halting refunding of small business aid. McCarthy said on the House floor:
But this isn’t the only issue where the Speaker is putting politics before people.
4.4 million more people are now unemployed because vital emergency relief was held up by Democrats.
Let me repeat: 4.4 million more people are now unemployed because Democrats obstructed.
On April 7th the administration requested more funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, a Marshall Plan for Main Street which has already saved over 30 million jobs … processed 14 years worth of applications in 14 days … and helped 1.6 million small businesses and nonprofits get the resources they need to pay their workers and keep their doors open. .
Congressional Republicans stood ready to act. But Democrats demanded sweeping changes to a solid program and blocked the money.
Everyone knew the relief funds were helping our nation’s workers. We — Republicans and Democrats — also knew the funds were going to run out quickly.
But because Democrats decided to obstruct, the account lapsed on April 16th and is empty today — one long week later.
“We are going to help Americans get through this. We are going to do this together,” McCarthy added.” And in the end, we are going to be stronger, healthier, and more united than ever before.