The Washington Post
The $ 349 billion bailout loan program ran out of money on Thursday, just two weeks after its launch to allow banks to issue taxpayer-guaranteed loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican and Democratic leaders have trouble agreeing on how to restore its funds, as a multitude of small American businesses are at risk of shutting down.
The new agreement would add approximately $ 300 billion in financing to small businesses and $ 50 billion for disaster lending. The deal would also include $ 75 billion for hospitals and $ 25 billion for a federal testing program, which have been the main Democratic demands.
Money for state and local governments will not be included in the package, but Mnuchin said President Trump was ready to discuss funding for state and local governments in the next bill while this package focuses on small business and hospital loans and testing.
Mnuchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that leaders “are making a lot of progress” and he hopes the deal will be passed in the Senate Monday, in the House Tuesday and be operational Wednesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) chats with reporters upon his arrival at the U.S. Capitol March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Sunday morning that officials were “very close” to an agreement to replenish the fund for small businesses and Senate leader for minorities Chuck Schumer said they could conclude an agreement Sunday evening or Monday morning.
“Overwhelmingly, my caucus, and we work closely with the Democrats in the Senate, know that we have an opportunity, and an emergency, to do something for our hospitals, teachers and firefighters and the like, this moment, “Pelosi told ABC” This week.
“And then we prepare for our next bill,” said Pelosi. “Businesses will have the money in a timely manner. “
The Trump administration has said that more than 1.6 million loans have been approved to help companies keep employees on their payroll. More than 22 million Americans have applied for unemployment in the past four weeks.
But many small businesses are still waiting for their banks to process an application or confirm their eligibility for financial assistance from the PPP fund.
The program has been criticized for making payments to certain businesses, including large restaurant chains. For example, Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain, which has more than 5,000 employees, recently revealed that it received $ 20 million in loans.