House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Sunday that small businesses seeking funding from a coronavirus-relief lending program will receive it in a “timely fashion,” after reports showed the funds dried up Thursday.
“I will say overwhelmingly my caucus—and we’re working closely with the Senate Democrats—knows that we have an opportunity and an urgency to do something for our hospitals, our teachers, and firefighters, and the rest right now,” she said in an interview on ABC’s This Week. “Everything we’ve done—three bills in March—were all bipartisan. This interim package will be too, and businesses will have the money in a timely fashion.”
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ABC’s George Stephanopoulos had asked the speaker why the Democratic leadership did not immediately support passing additional measures in the House and Senate to provide small businesses relief, noting that some Democratic representatives supported this.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a bipartisan measure in the CARES Act, deployed $350 billion to small businesses across the country in March. According to a Washington Free Beacon report, massive applications depleted its funds by last Thursday.
Senate Democrats blocked an additional $250 billion in funding for the PPP a week before funds ran out, calling the Republican effort to pass the funding bill a “partisan stunt.”
Since the PPP’s depletion, some Democratic senators and the media have criticized Democratic Party leadership for not ending the stalemate and providing immediate small business relief.
Democratic leadership has defended stalling the bill, arguing its provisions neglect a large portion of small businesses.
Pelosi said Sunday that Congress is “very close” to an agreement on a bill that would replenish PPP funding, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) confirmed it could be reached as early as tonight.
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