I don’t think I’m the bearer of bad news when I tell you that most of the money Congress set aside for small business in the wake of the stimulus package was, up until late Wednesday, exhausted.
It’s not that it’s not bad, it’s just that it’s not news. Even the most desultory of politics-watchers is aware of the fact that the program ran out of cash and needed more money.
Republicans were trying to get things done for a while.
Democrats, however, wanted their legislative priorities addressed along with the new round of stimulus, including money for state and local governments. No money for that, no bill.
There’s some irony to this, considering that the Democrats walked away from the table if they didn’t get their way, which indicates this couldn’t necessarily be dealt with on a bipartisan basis. If it were so urgent, too, it wouldn’t need to be dealt with as an add-on to another bill.
“Let’s get it done and let’s get it done right,” Van Hollen said, apparently unaware that this could be done right without it being added onto a small business recovery bill.
This also seemed to be entirely foreign to Symone D. Sanders. a key adviser to presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden.
In fact, she didn’t even acknowledge it was the Democrats who played any role in the shutdown at all.
“Let’s talk about how unacceptable it is that this administration has run out of money for small business loans,” she tweeted Sunday.
“It is the president and his administration’s job to make sure all Americans are taken care of during this time. Leadership starts at the TOP.”
Let’s talk about how unacceptable it is that this administration has run out of money for small business loans.
It is the president and his administration’s job to make sure all Americans are taken care of during this time. Leadership starts at the TOP.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) April 19, 2020
If Symone is so concerned about leadership, you know, her boss is able to provide it as easily as the president is.
Now, granted, her boss isn’t an elected official who can get bills started. Then again, when it comes to spending legislation, the same technically applies to President Donald Trump.
Yes, as difficult as it may be to imagine, the president doesn’t actually have the ability to start legislation in the lower house of Congress (or upper house, for that matter). And even if he did, that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that the Democrats refused to pass a clean bill.
What, then, are we supposed to say? The idea is that conservatives were supposed to just roll over and play as if we were in the wrong all along.
Yes, Symone, yes, Joe, we’re supposed to say. We were wrong all along. How can we ever make this up to the liberals? How can we genuflect before you?
No. That’s not how this works. What America needed was a clean bill to pass in order to help our small businesses stay afloat and get back to work. Anything else and we know who to blame.
In the end, there wasn’t a clean bill. The total cost of this ended up being $480 billion, according to CNN. There was money for hospitals and for local governments dealing with COVID-19 testing. Whether this was the right decision will be a matter adjudged by history.
I am encouraged that Democrats have finally agreed to reopen the Paycheck Protection Program and abandon a number of their unrelated demands. My full statement on Congress’s new bipartisan agreement to provide additional small-business support, more funding for testing, and more: pic.twitter.com/nDnhxbs9KB
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) April 21, 2020
“The virus bailouts have already cost over $2 trillion,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said on the final bill.
“We can’t continue on this course. No amount of bailout dollars will stimulate an economy that is being strangled by quarantine. It is not a lack of money that plagues us, but a lack of commerce. This economic calamity only resolves when we begin to reopen the economy.”
That isn’t the point, however. The point is that a clean bill would have gotten small businesses this money in an expedient manner that would have ensured the money would have reached small businesses — currently at the point of collapse.
The Democrats have been slow at getting us back to work. They’ve demanded that we fulfill a laundry list of liberal demands before we do under the false pretense that it’s necessary for America.
That’s not what we need. We need relief and we need it now. Anything less and what we are getting is pork — period.
Maybe, then, that’s what the Democrats wanted. And perhaps they got it — at the expense of America’s small business owners.
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