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Senators Block Quick Passage Of Latest Coronavirus Aid Bill

  • April 10, 2020

The AP (4/9, Taylor, Mascaro) reports “Senators torpedoed quick passage of a new coronavirus aid package Thursday, with Democrats rejecting a Trump administration request for $250 billion to boost a small business payroll fund and Republicans refusing Democrats’ demand for another $250 billion for hospitals and states.” While “Democrats are not opposed to boosting the payroll fund, but Pelosi wants to ensure equity in lending to minority-owned businesses and others that may not have routine access to financial institutions.” As such, “Democrats are pressing for half of the White House request, or $125 billion, to be channeled through community-based financial institutions that serve farmers and family-, women-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses and nonprofits in rural, tribal, suburban and urban communities.”
      The Washington Post (4/9, Werner, Debonis) reports that the small business lending program “is being swiftly tapped, with $100 billion already committed in forgivable loans despite a rocky rollout.” According to the Post, “So far, officials said more than 400,000 companies have filed applications for these taxpayer-backed loans.” The Post says Democrats “disputed that the program was in immediate need of more funds, saying they wanted changes to ensure fairness and transparency.” Earlier today, Speaker Pelosi told reporters that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin “had called her Tuesday and ‘asked for a quarter of a trillion dollars in 48 hours with no data.’” Pelosi added, “Will we eventually need more for PPP [Paycheck Protection Program]? OK, but let’s see the data.... We have time to negotiate to see how and where and when we should have more money there.”
      The Wall Street Journal (4/9, Peterson, Duehren, Subscription Publication), Bloomberg (4/9, Litvan, Dennis), Politico (4/9, Everett), and Modern Healthcare (4/9, Cohrs, Subscription Publication) also report.