After weeks of debate, the well ran dry Thursday for the roughly $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, leaving small businesses across the United States in the lurch with regard to much-needed financial relief amid ongoing coronavirus-related closures.
A popular component of the historic $2.2 trillion CARES Act, the PPP had been setting up struggling businesses of 500 employees or fewer with emergency bridge loans for just 13 days when the U.S. Small Business Administration was forced to stop accepting applications, PBS NewsHour reported.
The program’s limited funding stream had officially evaporated.
With the economy bleeding more than 22 million jobs, according to Forbes, and an end to de facto national lockdown only potentially in view for the month of May, the only thing standing between a great deal of Main Street mom-and-pops and a permanent “closed” sign had run out of money itself.
The American people should know the truth about why #PPP funding is running dry today: Democrats picked politics over hardworking families.
Instead of providing $3.5 billion per hour in relief, loans will stop thanks to Democrats.
This is unacceptable.https://t.co/BxzzpgM00g
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) April 15, 2020
.@GOPLeader on failed attempt to add $250 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program in the Senate: “I’m very disappointed. I do not think people should play politics with the pandemic.” pic.twitter.com/V71Zm6zzmh
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 9, 2020
Widely expected to see high demand, the PPP was a serious point of concern among Republican lawmakers and members of the Trump administration as the third phase of coronavirus relief legislation was crafted.
The SBA was forced in the early days of the pandemic to process more loan dollars than its administrative agency had doled out in the entirety of the 2019 fiscal year, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said — a premise that reportedly led Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin to advocate legislative action to replenish the funding stream less than two weeks after the inking of the CARES Act.
Democrats on the Hill were not interested, however, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor on April 9 to introduce, for passage by unanimous consent, a pork-free bill meant to allocate another $251 billion to the program.
Objecting to rapid passage of the replenishment measure, Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Democrats, referred to the legislative effort as a “political stunt,” demanding considerations be made for additional provisions pushed by Democratic leaders like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Alterations to the small business loan program itself were not the only demands brought to the table, however. Also floated by Democratic lawmakers were funding increases for local and state government response to the pandemic, as well as further federal procurement of supplies for the nation’s hospitals.
The CARES Act, of course, had already provided for such things, and the hundreds of billions of federal dollars previously allocated to those matters were far from flying out the door.
Still, Democrats would gamble the success of the PPP on those policy items, later tying in partisan projects like an additional $2 million in federal vote-by-mail funds as well.
What was the GOP’s hurry with regard to small business loans anyway? Democrats began to ask.
According to The Federalist, Pelosi would go so far as to tell reporters there was “no data” to support claims the PPP was on track for lowered levels of liquidity.
With liquidity now entirely lost after days of Democratic stonewalling, however, I can hardly think of a statement that has aged worse than that one. But let’s put that aside for a second.
What I want to know is, since when do Democrats require data or evidence of need in order to support a government expenditure?
For as long as most Americans can remember, the Democratic Party has been unable to find a big-spending government program it doesn’t support.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 9, 2020
More money is needed to help America’s small businesses.
Democrats are working to ensure the small businesses that enliven our neighborhoods and are the lifeblood of our economy get their share of these funds to sustain them through this crisis. #PPP #TruthMatters pic.twitter.com/UQbB7Y1LEh
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) April 18, 2020
And that is exactly the problem.
The Democrats are no strangers to spending but, in their heart of hearts, they have no love for the people whose money they are working with or the capitalist venture that made that money to begin with.
Given the opportunity to leverage the little guy in order to fund their partisan pet projects and big government bureaucracies, liberals always will. It will never matter how much they already have squirreled away for a rainy day.
No matter how often they claim to support the common man — to be pro-Main Street, but anti-Wall Street — you can never trust them.
Because when the chips were down last week for the 48 percent of Americans employed by small business, Democrats placed all their bets on the state and local government emergency funds that likely won’t be needed and the electoral experiments they’ve so desperately been wanting.
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he’s “hopeful” a deal can be made Monday or Tuesday, according to the Washington Examiner.
Pelosi, meanwhile, told ABC’s “This Week” that a deal might be within reach.
“We’re very close to agreement,” she said told anchor George Stephanopoulos.
But no matter what happens with the PPP in the coming days, Democrats have made their priorities clear, and small businesses are clearly not at the top of the list.
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