Republicans and Democrats criticize each other for delays in providing additional aid to small businesses
WASHINGTON – Democrats and Republicans are close to reaching an agreement to provide additional funds to help small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump said, noting that an agreement could be concluded as early as Monday.
Speaking Sunday at a daily White House briefing on the coronavirus, Trump said Republicans are “close” to an agreement with Democrats, and admitted that a related resolution could appear on Monday.
“Great, good work is being done. Perhaps we will get an answer tomorrow, “said the Republican President.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer previously expressed hope that an agreement would be reached Sunday night, but warned that many issues remain unresolved.
Members of both parties criticize each other for delays in further aid to small businesses amid protests by Trump supporters against demands that Americans stay at home and companies shut down to prevent further spread of the virus..
The United States leads in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus: there are more than 750 thousand infected in the country, more than 40 thousand people have died.
The interim deal will break the stalemate over President Donald Trump’s request to increase funding for the small business lending program by $ 250 billion. The program was developed in March as part of a $ 2.3 trillion anti-crisis plan, but the allocated money has already ended.
Democratic leaders want small businesses to receive additional funds, but with guarantees that loans will reach underserved communities. They also advocate increased allocations to states, municipalities and hospitals, as well as food assistance to the poor..
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin told Senators on a teleconference on Sunday that the additional funding Democrats would like to receive will not be included in the package..
Congress plans to pass another major coronavirus bailout bill after the small business fund is replenished. The harbinger is Sunday’s announcement by Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and his Republican counterpart Bill Cassidy that they will formally introduce legislation to create a $ 500 billion fund to help state and municipal governments tackle the crisis..
Trump said in a briefing that he supports the idea of helping state and municipal governments, but in future laws.
House leaders released an updated timetable, saying that a vote on the interim bill is likely to take place this week and the House could meet as early as Wednesday.
Governors argue with the president
Arguing with Trump about the timing of the economic restart, the governors of severely affected states say they need additional federal funding to scale up testing and address the impact of the pandemic on their budgets..
“The President has already said 15 times: Everything depends on the governors, everything depends on the governors, everything depends on the governors. And after that, they want to pass a law in which states are allocated, you know how much? Zero!” Democrat Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing.
Trump said Vice President Mike Pence will be holding a teleconference Monday with all 50 governors to discuss further assistance..
Speaking on CNN, Mnuchin said the agreement, which is being discussed with Congress, includes an additional $ 300 billion for a small business loan program to pay salaries..
He also said that it will provide $ 75 billion to hospitals, and $ 25 billion through a federal program that can be shared with states to invest in testing using new technologies. About $ 50 billion will go to the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Fund, Mnuchin said..
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, said on ABC’s This Week that Democrats want to make sure the new bailout bailout reaches “all America’s small businesses.”.
More than a quarter of the $ 350 billion already allocated went to less than 2 percent of the companies that received aid. These include publicly listed companies with thousands of employees, high-paid executives, and millions of dollars in annual sales..
Trump Advocates For Restaurant Chains, Hotel Operators And Hedge Funds To Access Small Business Finance.
“Even if [the business] belongs to a large network, the consequences are devastating,” he said. “I read that in Florida, a suburb of Miami, Doral, a place that I love, they had to lay off a lot of workers because, in fact, they closed.”.
News Service; Voices of America