Republicans cave to Pelosi on deal to fund Payroll Protection Program; Here’s what we know…

The House and Senate are finally nearing a deal to fund the Payroll Protection Program after Pelosi and Senate Democrats have held up funding the program for a couple of weeks. Republicans have been forced to cave and, via Chad Pergram, here’s what we know:

Negotiators from the House, Senate and White House are close to finalizing an accord on the “phase 3.5” response to the coronavirus pandemic. The hope is finalize the package later today or perhaps early tomorrow.

2) Here are the specifics: $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (small business loans). On top of that, there is a separate provision worth $60 billion ($50 billion in loans, $10 billion in grants) for economic disaster loans.

3) Then, other items. $75 billion for hospitals. $25 billion for testing. The total of the package would be north of $470 billion. The measure would not include money for state and local governments “nor the Kennedy Center,” said one source.

4) However, the sides are still negotiating over state-driven approaches for testing. So far, there are hot specific strings as to how hospitals would use the money. Now, how do they get this through Congress?

5) The Senate is scheduled for a brief pro forma session today at 2 pm et. Expect no action today. But… What’s likely is that the Senate will protectively put itself into a posture to have ANOTHER session tomorrow, probably in the afternoon.

6) If the accord comes together, the Senate would then move the measure tomorrow – with a skeleton crew on hand – likely by unanimous consent. That means no other senator present in the chamber objects. Then, the bill moves to the House, possibly Wednesday or Thursday.

7) The office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) signaled yesterday that House members may should be ready to come back Wednesday. Hoyer’s office also indicated they could take a “roll call vote.”

Pergram continues to lay out other possible scenarios, but that’s essentially what’s going to happen. Here’s what I want to know. Why is it that Republicans always end up folding? Under Obama, Republicans were told that Democrats controlled the Senate and the White house and that just holding the House wasn’t enough for Republicans to get their way. Now, under Trump, when Republicans control both the Senate and the White House, Nancy Pelosi is still forcing Republicans to cave; and during a pandemic I remind you!

The reason is simple and obvious to most of us – blatant media bias. Pelosi has the media in her back pocket and, as we’ve seen several times here lately, they are refusing to hold Democrats to account and put pressure on them for holding up this funding, as they would Republicans. You know it’s true. Republicans would have been excoriated in the media for doing exactly what Pelosi has done here. But Pelosi’s allowed to continue to hold small businesses hostage until Republicans just give up and give her what she wants. It’s despicable.

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