While the Speaker is rejecting a reasonable deal that would allow COVID-19 relief to pass, Democrats could easily join Republicans to bring legislation to the floor that would allow small businesses to access unspent funds in the Paycheck Protection Program to support employees whose jobs are in jeopardy.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s petition discharging Rep. Steve Chabot’s bill has 185 signatures. If the petition receives 218 signatures, it will circumvent Speaker Pelosi’s control of the floor and allow the House to pass this legislation. Democrats have a choice: will they continue to support the Speaker’s efforts to obstruct this important assistance for political reasons, or will they sign this discharge petition to bring common sense legislation to the floor that will give small businesses the chance to keep their employees on their payroll by receiving another PPP loan with the funds that remain in the program?
Last night, President Trump called on Congress to immediately approve legislation that would extend the PPP:
The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Democrats have no reason to oppose extending this program, especially given a new study showing how critical it has been to supporting workers across the country. As Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee detailed yesterday, the PPP led to increased employment and financial wellbeing and stopped the foreclosure of Main Street businesses across the country. See below for key takeaways from this new report courtesy of Glenn Hubbard and Michael R. Strain:
- PPP was “the most ambitious” fiscal policy response to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Smaller businesses got the most utility out of PPP loans.
- PPP loans increased employment and financial well-being – especially for Main Street businesses.
- Over 4.9 million PPP loans were processed, supporting over 51 million jobs.
- Democrats currently are blocking Republican efforts to allow more businesses to tap unused PPP funds.
Read the full report below, which explains why Speaker Pelosi and Democrats’ decision to block an extension of this program is hurting small businesses and employees that need support: