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WSJ Editorial Board: Pelosi Holds Up Small Business


WASHINGTON, DC – Why does this keep happening? Americans should be outraged. How many times will Speaker Pelosi stand on America’s air hose? Every single day matters, and yet the Speaker and Senate Minority Leader keep delaying urgent aid to the American people to push their political priorities. Rinse and repeat.

Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer, 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment this week. The prior two weeks, 10 million filed for unemployment. Stop these political games.

Pelosi Holds Up Small Business
The Wall Street Journal
The Editorial Board
April 8, 2020

This is getting old. Tens of thousands of small businesses are heading for bankruptcy without short-term liquidity from the feds. The Trump Administration offers to provide it—and Democrats on Capitol Hill refuse to support it without more money for their constituencies.

The latest example concerns the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was part of the $2.2 trillion Cares Act. The program offers forgivable loans to maintain payroll and cover overhead during the economic shutdown. Despite some technical hiccups, the program is already besieged by applications.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Tuesday asked Congress to replenish the program with another $250 billion, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell wants to hold a voice vote to do so on Thursday. But that requires Democratic assent, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say they’ll block a vote without another $250 billion in additional spending and new strings.

The hostage-takers are insisting that half of any additional PPP money be earmarked for “community-based financial institutions that serve farmers, family, women, minority and veteran-owned small businesses and nonprofits in rural, tribal, suburban and urban communities across our country.” That demand is as unworkable as it is unnecessary.

PPP money is already going to banks large and small, through a network that includes any existing Small Business Administration lender and any federally insured bank or credit union. The money is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, which means farmers, women and minorities have the same opportunities as others. Any plan that seeks to allocate dollars on the basis of identity politics introduces bureaucratic interference and delay.

The program that urgently needs the money is PPP. Congress can clarify a few rules about lender liability and who is eligible for loans, but small businesses need the money. By our deadline the parties were still negotiating. If Democrats refuse a voice vote, Mr. McConnell should seek one and dare Democrats to take responsibility for denying funds to thousands of small businesses across America.

To read the full editorial click here.


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