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U.S. Senator Chris Coons pulled the curtain back on what is behind the delay in Congress approving additional funding for small businesses.
The Delaware Democrat addressed criticisms being leveled at members of his party over delays in approving an additional $250 billion to the $2 trillion rescue bill approved by Congress last month in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
(Source: Fox News)
Speaking with Fox News’ Steve Doocy on Monday, Coons defended Democrats’ position on pushing for additions to the small-business lending program.
“At such a perilous time, why ask for the add-ons now?” Doocy asked, referring to the hundreds of billions of dollars Democrats are demanding for hospitals, cities, states and even food stamp recipients.
“Because we’re not going to return to Congress this week, or next week or perhaps anytime soon, this bill has to pass both the Senate and the House by unanimous consent,” the lawmaker replied. “I support, and Democrats support, increased funding for small business, but it’s got to also go to the emergency disaster loans.”
He added that the loans have to be getting to “lots of small businesses and small non-profits – even those that don’t have a depository relationship with one of the major banks.”
Coons added that Congress needs to address both the health emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic and the “economic disaster” facing the country.
“Most states, most hospitals are seeing record shortfalls,” he continued. “We should be doing both: Providing support for our health systems and our states, and providing support for small business.”
“I’m certainly okay with helping the states and helping the hospitals,” Trump said at a White House coronavirus press briefing on Friday, but suggested the extra requests could be added to a later recovery package.
Coons added that he was “very hopeful” that Congress would be able to work out a compromise “within the next few days.”
Doocy noted that the bipartisan efforts would be welcomed by Americans but added that “if there’s ever a tine where suddenly it looks like one party is trying to push their agenda,” people will not be happy with their elected officials.
“The American people, at a time of crisis like this, are going, ‘that’s why we hate Washington.'” the “Fox & Friends” co-host said.
Coons pointed to the unanimous passing of the coronavirus relief package known as the CARES Act even after there was disagreement among lawmakers about its content.
“I think we ought to follow that same pattern here, and you;ll see it will enjoy unanimous support again, “Coons said.
Top Republicans have been opposed to that, however, demanding Congress pass a “clean bill” addressing the immediate concern and not add dozens of extras being pushed by Democrats.
“Republicans reject Democrats’ reckless threat to continue blocking job-saving funding unless we renegotiate unrelated programs which are not in similar peril,” a joint statement read from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
“This will not be Congress’s last word on COVID-19, but this crucial program needs funding now. American workers cannot be used as political hostages,” the statement, released on Saturday, read.
Meanwhile, some businesses are beginning to see some much-needed relief arrive from the Paycheck Protection Program.
A North Carolina coffee shop operated by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities was among the first to get the financial help as co-founder Amy Wright told Fox News.
(Source: Fox News)
Wright explained that closing the doors of the chain’s North Carolina location three weeks ago was “tough”even though the plan was to hopefully reopen and bring the staff back to work. Wright shared how the government funding has now allowed the employees to return to the payroll and will sustain the coffee shop for eight weeks, as staff is working from home until the doors open again.
The application process went smoothly, Wright noted, saying the local Wilmington bank was “a dream” to work with and the employees are happy to have their jobs, which for many were their first employment.
“They’re very excited and we’re very grateful,” Wright said.
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