More Aid for Small Businesses Fails in Partisan Fight in Senate

The Senate on April 9 failed to pass an additional $250 billion of aid intended to help small businesses cope with the economic toll of the CCP virus pandemic as Democrats and Republicans blocked each others proposals.

Democrats objected to a Republican measure for $250 billion to beef up emergency loans to small businesses, saying they would back the bill only if it had strings attached and was coupled with a similar amount for hospitals, local governments and food assistance.

Republicans, for their part, objected to the Democratic initiative, saying only the money in a small business loan program was at risk of running out now and needed to be replenished.

“To my Democratic colleagues, please–please–do not block emergency aid you do not even oppose just because you want something more,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on March 21, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

But Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen called McConnells move “a complete political stunt here on the floor of the United States Senate.” He and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin called for immediate renewal instead of an emergency loan and grant program for small businesses that they said already has run out of money.

The Republican measure brought by McConnell was sought by the Trump administration. It wanted to replenish a $349 billion loan program for restaurants, hotels and an array of other small businesses struggling in an economy hobbled by CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, which has shuttered schools and businesses, left most of the nations population sheltering at home and thrown millions out of work.

Before the Senate action, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC that officials wanted to get the small business loans program beefed up as soon as possible.

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