(USA Features) More than a dozen House Democrats are calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to end her stalling on new funding for a clean measure aimed at replenishing Small Business Administration funds so businesses ordered shut during the COVID-19 pandemic can get relief.
Small business funding as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed earlier this month has already run out, and Republicans have been pressuring Pelosi to craft a new funding bill strictly for that purpose and devoid of unnecessary provisions.
However, the Speaker, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have been insisting on putting in hundreds of billions more for hospitals and states that Republicans say should be addressed separately.
Now, at least 15 Democrats have defied their leader and joined with GOP lawmakers to demand a clean funding bill so American business owners can remain afloat and keep their employees as 22 million have lost jobs already.
In the Senate, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has also called for a clean funding bill for the SBA.
“The @SBAgov ’s Paycheck Protection Program has just run out of money, leaving business owners who are trying to pay their employees stranded. We need to fund the PPP and other SBA programs — there are small businesses counting on our support,” Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), tweeted.
The @SBAgov’s Paycheck Protection Program has just run out of money, leaving business owners who are trying to pay their employees stranded.
We need to fund the PPP and other SBA programs — there are small businesses counting on our support.
— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) April 16, 2020
His Colorado colleague, Rep. Diana DeGette, added: “Congress must immediately replenish funds for the Paycheck Protection Program. Millions of small businesses are counting on this program to cover expenses and pay their workers. We have to get this right.”
Congress must immediately replenish funds for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Millions of small businesses are counting on this program to cover expenses and pay their workers.
We have to get this right. https://t.co/xBcnxyt3rY
— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) April 16, 2020
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) said, “Congress must act quickly to replenish SBA funds for small business relief. I’m hearing despair from businesses of all sizes, and many mom and pop shops are on the verge of shutting down.”
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) said, “I’ve spoken w/ small business owners in our community – they need access to capital immediately.
“That’s why I’ve mounted an effort to urge Leadership on both sides of the aisle to put politics aside and get relief in the hands of those who represent the backbone of our economy,” Houlahan added.
Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) said, “We cannot treat relief for small businesses like a political football. I’m calling on both parties to come together to fund PPP.”
“We must strengthen access for our smallest businesses, but that shouldn’t stop us from taking action. PPP needs funding now,” she added.
Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) said, “This is unacceptable. As South Carolina businesses struggle, Congress cannot treat this program like a political football.”
“It’s time to put politics aside, act swiftly, and get more funding and relief into the hands of Lowcountry businesses,” Cunningham emphasized.
This is unacceptable. As South Carolina businesses struggle, Congress cannot treat this program like a political football. It’s time to put politics aside, act swiftly, and get more funding and relief into the hands of Lowcountry businesses. https://t.co/zrHN3F2vdY
— Rep. Joe Cunningham (@RepCunningham) April 16, 2020
This is Washington politics at its worst. Families & small businesses are struggling, and our frontline workers need more support. Both parties must work together to secure more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program & other aid for our communities. https://t.co/MhcQj7UruZ
— Rep. Anthony Brindisi (@RepBrindisi) April 16, 2020
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) slammed Pelosi for refusing to put forth a clean funding measure as businesses hinge on bankruptcy through no fault of their own.
During a press conference Thursday, he said:
Secretary Mnuchin asked [Congress] last week if we could increase [Paycheck Protection Program funding] by $250 billion… Mitch McConnell went to the floor in the Senate on one page [and] asked for unanimous consent. Unfortunately, the Democrats said no.
We continue to ask that that money be put in now. If you go to the SBA website it tells you not to apply because there’s no more money. That doesn’t have to be the case…
I can not understand how, after watching another 5 million get unemployed, Speaker Pelosi continues to say no. It’s just unheard of, [this is] a program that is working to help small businesses stay afloat and [keep] their employees hired.