Washington, DC – Last week, due to the partisan games of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate failed to pass needed funding to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) reacted to the Democrats’ move, calling it “Shameful. Absolutely shameful.”
As American small businesses continue to face instability during this unprecedented pandemic, the PPP has been vital for these business owners to keep people on the payroll at their jobs. We knew the fund was running dry, but instead of sending help and much-needed aid to Americans, Democrats played politics.
One week later, the PPP has officially run dry, 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment, and Democrats are still playing partisan games at the expense of the wellbeing of the American people.
Read more in today’s piece by the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board.
The Wall Street Journal
By The Editorial Board
April 16, 2020
For seven long days, Democrats have been blocking a $250 billion refill for the Paycheck Protection Program, and on Thursday morning the loan fund finally ran out of money. “Every Senate Republican was ready to act today,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. “But Democrats would not let us reopen the program.”
On Thursday the Labor Department said another 5.2 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. That brings the total in four weeks to a mind-bending 22 million. The Paycheck Protection Program is meant to blunt this trauma, and so far it has approved 1.6 million forgivable loans to small businesses. The idea is to keep companies stable amid the pandemic, so they can retain workers. Without this cash infusion, it’s hard to fathom how much worse the economic data might look.
Now the pot is empty. On Thursday the Small Business Administration said it had exhausted about $350 billion in loans that Congress provided. Last week the White House asked for $250 billion more. Democrats objected, demanding policy changes and extra money for other relief funds that aren’t close to running out.
In a joint statement Monday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for “further changes” to the Paycheck Protection Program, plus “significantly increased” funding for disaster grants and loans, plus “additional support” for the food-stamp program, plus “adequate funding” for nationwide virus testing and personal protective equipment, plus “the collection and publication of demographic data” so that “we can accurately determine the level of impact on under-served communities and communities of color.”
Identity politics and the social pork barrel trump jobs and business solvency.
Democrats can make all this part of their election campaign, but the Paycheck Protection Program is out of funds today. Every minute that passes, another small business may go bust or lay off staff.
Mrs. Pelosi has been saying far and wide that President Trump is responsible for the Covid-19 death toll because he didn’t act quickly enough to stop it. The longer Democrats refuse to provide financing for small businesses after government cut off their revenue, the more Americans will have every right to conclude that Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer are responsible for the worsening economic destruction.