In addition to the 2.2 trillion already passed, McConnell says the Senate must approve more relief funds for small businesses to ensure they stay afloat during this extended coronavirus quarantine:
NY POST – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate should quickly approve more funds for small-business loans to prevent layoffs due to the coronavirus outbreak.
McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would seek to pass additional funds Thursday without calling senators back to Washington for a recorded vote.
There’s been intense demand for the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which launched Friday. The program allows businesses to take out loans for payroll and overhead, with the amount forgiven if businesses don’t lay off workers.
The enormously popular program authorizes banks to issue loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, with certain exceptions.
“The small-business Paycheck Protection Program needs more funding,” McConnell said in a prepared statement. “Thanks to the hard work of small businesses and lenders, billions of dollars have already landed and tens of billions more are already in the pipeline. Jobs are literally being saved as we speak. But as Secretary Mnuchin has explained, Congress needs to quickly provide more funding or this crucial program will run dry.”
McConnell said he would work with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to reach an agreement so that an in-person vote won’t be needed.
McConnell intends for the funds to be approved by unanimous consent so that Senators won’t have to return. Which means he’ll have to be wheeling and dealing with Schumer again.
McConnell hasn’t said how much he intends to increase the money available for those potentially guaranteed loans. The initial amount provided was $350 billion, but you can be sure Schumer will try and push it as high as he can.
All of this should happen on Thursday when the Senate begins its next official session.