White House Agrees to Bipartisan Talks on Interim ‘Paycheck Protection’ Bill

April 10, 2020 by Dan McCue
In this image from video, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration agreed on Friday to pursue bipartisan talks with members of the House and Senate on an interim bill to boost funding to the federal government’s $350 million “Paycheck Protection” program.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday afternoon that he had spoken with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and that he came away from the conversation hopeful that a deal could be struck sometime early next week.

Schumer’s comments come a day after Democrats blocked an attempt by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to pass a $250 billion infusion into the business program by a voice vote.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., ranking member on the Senate Small Business Committee, said he stopped the Republican effort in its tracks because it wouldn’t go far enough to address the immediate needs of small businesses.

The proposal he said, “leaves out where small businesses need help today. “

The $349 billion “Paycheck Protection” program is the first part of the $2.3 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package to get up and running.

It relies on an existing SBA guaranty program to give small businesses forgivable loans to cover up to eight weeks of payroll and other fixed costs. If the companies mostly use the money to pay their workers during the pandemic’s economic shutdown, then they won’t have to pay it back.

Congress is in an unprecedented situation in which convening either chamber to do business requiring roll call votes is out of the question as the nation is locked down by the coronavirus pandemic. That means legislation has to advance by consensus only. 

Democrats say they want safeguards to ensure that funding under the program can reach all eligible businesses, including those that do not have established credit relationships with banks such as minority-owned firms.

Schumer himself has said he is pressing to add funding for health care providers such as hospitals, as well as further funding for cash-poor state and local governments.

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

Desperate for Workers, US Restaurants and Stores Raise Pay
Employment
Desperate for Workers, US Restaurants and Stores Raise Pay

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. restaurants and stores are rapidly raising pay in an urgent effort to attract more applicants and keep up with a flood of customers as the pandemic eases. McDonald's, Sheetz and Chipotle  are just some of the latest companies to follow Amazon, Walmart ... Read More

COVID-19 Pet Boom Has Veterinarians Backlogged, Burned Out
Mental Health
COVID-19 Pet Boom Has Veterinarians Backlogged, Burned Out

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — During the gloomiest stretches of the pandemic, Dr. Diona Krahn's veterinary clinic has been a puppy fest, overrun with new four-legged patients.  Typically, she'd get three or four new puppies a week, but between shelter adoptions and private purchases, the 2020... Read More

How Income Volatility Impacts Health Decisions
Health
How Income Volatility Impacts Health Decisions
May 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics released data that the U.S. birth rate is the lowest it’s been since 1979, and one theory on why this is happening is younger individuals who are of childbearing-age are putting off... Read More

Middle East Needs to Move to 'A New Economic Model,' According to IMF Official
Think Tanks
Middle East Needs to Move to 'A New Economic Model,' According to IMF Official
May 7, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

An official from the International Monetary Fund argued this week that the Middle East and Central Asia regions should shift towards a new and inclusive economic model as they emerge from the pandemic, echoing IMF claims that this is the time for a world economic shift. ... Read More

US Employment Situation Improves Slowly but Surely
Employment
US Employment Situation Improves Slowly but Surely
May 7, 2021
by Victoria Turner

With the US unemployment rate essentially unchanged from March to April from 6.0% to 6.1% respectively, the American state of employment seems to continue on its positive track, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics latest report.  Employment in nonfarm jobs increased by 266,000 in April,... Read More

$28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund Open for Enrollment
Business
$28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund Open for Enrollment
May 3, 2021
by Reece Nations

The Small Business Administration began accepting applications on Monday for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a program authorized in March by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. To receive funding, businesses must submit their application to the SBA on a first-come, first-served basis at restaurants.sba.gov.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top