GOP Lawmakers React After Senate Dems Block McConnell’s Bid For Emergency PPP Funding To Help Small Businesses

[Image source: C-SPAN & CNN video screenshots. Swamp Drain compilation].

Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) unanimous consent to quickly approve an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, under which small businesses can get federally backed loans that will be forgiven if they keep workers on payroll during the coronavirus shutdown.

Monday may be the next chance to quickly approve more aid without objection, and lawmakers aren’t scheduled to return to Washington until the week of April 20, reports Bloomberg.

“The country cannot afford unnecessary wrangling. … The country needs us to be nimble,” Senator McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday. “My colleagues must not treat working Americans as political hostages. … We cannot play games with this crisis”

After Democrats blocked helping small businesses, the Senate Majority Leader took to Twitter, saying he “hope[s] Democrats reverse course”.

“Senate Democrats just blocked urgent money for a popular, bipartisan job-saving program which they themselves literally coauthored with us two weeks ago. I complimented both sides and asked to increase the dollar amount without changing anything else. But they blocked it,” Senator McConnell tweeted.

“We just found out that 16 million Americans have been laid off in three weeks. A staggering 10% of the labor force is now out of work. This is a crisis. No time for partisan maneuvering or politics as usual. I hope Democrats reverse course & let us increase paycheck support soon,” he expressed. Continued Below

Democrats tried to offer their own alternative to amend the GOP plan to include $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for state and local governments and an expansion of food assistance, in addition to the small-business funding. Republicans, similarly, rejected the Democratic measure, The Hill reported.

Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that Trump is “willing to talk” about more money for hospitals and states in the fourth coronavirus bill. The small-business funding is viewed as an “interim” bill between the $2.2 trillion legislation and a “phase four” proposal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during an interview with NPR that the GOP bill could not get unanimous consent in her chamber. “The bill that they put forth doesn’t have, will not get unanimous support in the House. It just won’t,” she said. Video Below

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) signaled that he was preparing to require a quorum, forcing a majority of the House to come back. He used a similar tactic late last month on the third coronavirus package, sparking ire from his colleagues and Trump, who referred to him as “third rate”, reported The Hill.

“Once again, they’re recommending that just let Nancy Pelosi pass it on her own, that we could all stay home. And I’m saying that’s not going to fly, doesn’t fly with the Constitution, doesn’t fly for accountability to the taxpayers,” Massie said during an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business.

Senator Mitch McConnell’s remarks:

Senator Mitch McConnell’s official tweet:

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GOP Lawmakers react:

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