Mitch McConnell: Senate To Strengthen Small Business Loan Program With Possible Action Thursday


Last month, Congress donated approximately $ 349 billion for the paycheck protection program. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday he would speak with congressional leaders to get $ 250 billion more for the program.

“It quickly becomes clear that Congress will have to provide more funding or this crucial program could dry up,” said McConnell. “It can’t happen. Almost 10 million Americans have applied for unemployment in the past two weeks alone. It’s already a record tragedy and every day counts. “

McConnell said he would work with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Mnuchin to approve the increase in funding for the program.

The Office of Management and Budget, in a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday evening, officially requested an additional $ 251 billion for the loan program from the Small Business Administration’s loan program, which provides loans reimbursable to companies with less than 500 employees on the grounds that the money is used. to pay salaries, wages and other costs like mortgages, rent or utilities.

“To date, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has recorded more than 220,000 loans totaling approximately $ 66 billion,” Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a letter to the Prime Minister on Tuesday. Vice President Mike Pence. “Given the level of demand for the program, the administration estimates that the funds allocated to this program will soon be exhausted. “

Any effort adopted by the Senate should also be adopted by the House. President Nancy Pelosi told Anderson Cooper of CNN on Tuesday that she spoke to Mnuchin earlier today.

“We want to make sure that the program is administered so as not to consolidate the inequalities in the way people access capital, but rather (is) to benefit all who are entitled to it.” So we want to have some considerations if we were to go ahead with this, “said Pelosi.

Mnuchin told reporters that he hopes the Senate will pass the bill on Thursday and the House on Friday, but it is unclear whether a member will oppose and delay the process. Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky who tried to force a vote in the House on the most recent coronavirus stimulus bill at the end of March, does not respond directly if he will authorize more funding for small business loans to pass the room by unanimous consent or voice vote.

Nor is it known how much money the Senate will provide. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida and chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, tweeted Tuesday that the program needed “at least another $ 200-250 billion.”

“The fear that #PPP will run out of money creates enormous anxiety at #SmallBusiness,” he wrote. “We have days, NOT weeks, to resolve this problem. “

Deployment of a $ 2 trillion recovery plan marred by problems and breakdowns

Pelosi told colleagues on teleconferences on Tuesday that the House may have to adopt the package requested by the administration this week, sources said on the calls. Another source said Pelosi is making it clear that she is willing to move forward this week if she reaches an agreement with the administration. Democrats have made a number of demands to include in the next package, including protections for tenants and owners of minority businesses. It remains unclear what Pelosi will ultimately demand from the administration.

Pelosi clarified that this legislation is only an interim agreement, and they still plan to go ahead with another plan – called CARES 2 – in the coming weeks.

Rubio asked Mnuchin to request additional funding for the program after seeing the large volume of loan applications, two familiar sources said.

Some senators fear that small business owners will start refusing to apply for loans if they believe the money will not be there and will instead fire workers.

Although there have been technical problems with the P3 program, people are still lining up to get money.

“Even with people who have problems with technology, the demands are there and we see a lot of applications from the banks,” a source told CNN. “The more certainty you can provide, the more likely the program will achieve its goals. “

This story was updated on Tuesday with further developments.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Devan Cole contributed to this report.


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