Jordan skewers Dems for bogging down coronavirus relief

Jordan skewers Dems for bogging down coronavirus relief

Rep. Jim Jordan on Friday claimed Democrats are bogging down coronavirus relief with progressive proposals rather than providing aid to struggling small businesses amid the pandemic.

“Let’s recap,” Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted Friday. “Democrats want to: Pay states to release criminals; free detained illegal aliens; close churches; make abortion clinics ‘essential’; stop gun sales.

“Republicans want to: Help small businesses w/ the #PaycheckProtectionProgram; get America back to work,” he continued, adding: “You decide.”

Jordan’s tweet comes amid a standstill on Capitol Hill over funding for the Small Business Administration’s program to protect small businesses.

The Payment Protection Program–which helps businesses with under 500 employees obtain loans that can cover eight weeks of their payroll, benefits, rent and other expenses–ran out of funding. The program was created as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that passed last month, and converts the small business loans to grants and would be fully forgiven if 75 percent of the loan is used to keep employees on the payroll.

CORONAVIRUS DISASTER LOAN CUTOFF LEAVES MANY SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS WITHOUT RELIEF

The Trump administration on Thursday said that they cannot accept any more applications without congressionally authorized funding. All the $350 billion for the original PPP program under the CARES Act has been allocated through more than 1.6 million approved loans.

“The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding,” the Small Business Administration said Thursday. “Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time.”

Republicans and the Trump administration want Democrats to pass a quick, one-page $250 billion infusion of cash to the program that gives struggling small businesses up to $10 million in forgivable loans to make their payrolls. The GOP effort already failed in the Senate last week as Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have demanded an additional $250 million that would help hospitals and state and local governments and contain changes to the small business relief program to help disadvantaged and minority-owned businesses.

While Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, D-N.Y., support helping small businesses, the top congressional Democrats want to also pass an “interim emergency” bill that would help hospitals and state governments.

“We’re willing to give them that money, but we also need the other money. … The question is of the Republicans: Why are you ignoring your state?” Pelosi told reporters.

“How can we ignore their pleas for help … when they are on the front line?” she added.

If they can strike an “interim” deal on the small business front, legislation could come to the floor “before the end of the month,” Pelosi said.

But Democrats and the White House are still eyeing another huge stimulus package that could include infrastructure spending that lawmakers are referring to as “Phase Four” of their coronavirus response. The date for that legislation would be well beyond the interim bill, Pelosi said Thursday.

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