U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said today on the Sunday news shows he is close to reaching a deal with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on continued funding for the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small business during the Chinese coronavirus lockdown.
The new deal will include $50 billion for disaster loans, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for a federal testing program. Money for state and local governments will not be included in the package, Mnchunin said, reported CNBC.
“I think we’re making a lot of progress,” Mnuchin said. He added that President Trump is prepared to discuss funding for state and local governments in the next bill, since this package focuses mainly on loans to small businesses and hospitals and testing.
Many small businesses have been left in the lurch as funding ran out; some large banks were not initially helpful during the process and prevented access to the program. Citibank for instance did not open the program for approximately ten days, preventing its small business customers to take part.
Pelosi held out passage of additional small business funding to get cash for government employee unions and funding for hospitals. Government employees have been paid during the lockdown, and have not experienced the existential stress that small business has.
Small business is the engine of job creation in America.
“Overwhelmingly, my caucus, and we’re working closely with the Senate Democrats, know that we have an opportunity, and an urgency, to do something for our hospitals, our teachers and firefighters and the rest, right now,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“And then we’re preparing for our next bill,” Pelosi said. “Businesses will have the money in a timely fashion.”
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