Lawmakers are struggling to compromise on legislation designed to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus shutdown.
Republicans want to add $250 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers small businesses up to $10 million in grants and loans if they continue to pay their employees.
The current $350 billion fund could run dry within the week, warns Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I’m literally talking about deleting the number ‘350’ and writing ‘600’ in its place,” said McConnell on Thursday as he sought to pass the legislation through unanimous agreement. “Do not block emergency aid you do not oppose just because you want something more.”
Senate Democrats blocked the proposal later that day because it failed to include money for hospitals, minorities, and food stamps.
Democrats wanted to add $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion to help state and local governments, and a 15% increase in food stamp benefits. They also wanted to ensure that half of the $250 billion be reserved for minority-owned businesses and nonprofits.
Democrats will have the chance to pursue these goals when they negotiate a fourth stimulus package, said President Trump.
“We should have a big Infrastructure Phase Four with Payroll Tax Cuts & more,” tweeted Trump. “Big Economic Bounceback!”
Trump also urged lawmakers to “go back to DEDUCTIBILITY by businesses if restaurants, clubs, and entertainment is expected to flourish.” (He is referring to a prior law that allowed companies to deduct meal and entertainment expenses from their taxes.)
On a brighter note, the $1,200 direct payments to Americans included in already-signed legislation are set to begin next week.
Author’s Note: Again, we are seeing Democrats put their political values above the needs of the American people. Democrats want to help small businesses, but only if Republicans agree to add extra provisions. This is selfishness on an unbelievable scale, especially considering the Dems will have the chance to pass the legislation they want within the coming weeks.