Republicans and Democrats at odds trying to protect small businesses

U.S. & World

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Leaders in Washington D.C. are racing to get more money to help small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic. Around $350 billion was originally slated for small business loans but it’s quickly running out. The Trump administration wants another infusion of cash but the Democrats aren’t on board just yet.

The treasury department says since Friday, the federal government has approved more than 100,000 emergency small businesses loans.

“I spoke to a bank president in Ohio who does a lot of SBA loans,” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said. “He’s telling me their numbers are unbelievably high.”

Brown says the program allows businesses to keep their employees paid during the coronavirus shutdowns. Now, the White House says it needs $250 billion more to keep the program funded.

Indiana Republican Senator Todd Young says Congress should quickly approve the request.

“[This] makes sure all businesses that need access to the program have access to it,” Young said.

But democratic leaders want to add more to the bill including an increase in food stamp benefits and more money for hospitals. If democrats and republicans can agree, the legislation could pass this week by voice votes allowing most lawmakers to continue to stay at home.

“My hope and expectation is that everyone will not have to be called back,” Young said. “I think that would really be unfortunate.”

Whatever a compromise looks like, both sides agree small businesses need help.

“We’ve got to step up and make sure our businesses exist in two or three months when this is in the rearview mirror,” Senator Brown said.

His colleague from Indiana agrees.

“We can assure that assistance gets into the hands of all those small businesses who need it,” Senator Young said.

The president is expected to sign the measure if congress approves it.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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