WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement Monday to replenish a small business loan program designed to keep employees on the payroll during the coronavirus crisis.
“The Senate will not be able to pass more funding for America’s paychecks today,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.
The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of its $350 billion in federal funding last week.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said Democrats should quit holding up the deal.
“I think that we need to fund this program and then we can have a discussion over other priorities,” he said Friday.
But Congressman David Price (D-NC-4) said Monday those other priorities can’t wait.
“Democrats have asked for things that are equally urgent,” he said.
Price said that includes providing more money for hospitals and virus testing, food and nutrition programs and making sure small businesses that don’t have established relationships with banks can get the loans.
The Trump Administration is asking for at least $250 billion more in funding for the small business program and indicated Monday they might need even more.
“It’s gonna be decided by the path of the virus more than anything else,” Special Advisor Kevin Hassett said Monday.
Hassett said whether the program will need another injection of cash depends on how quickly businesses are back up and running again.
“It’s past time past time to get this done for the country,” McConnell said Monday.
He promised the Senate will hold a special session Tuesday to try and pass whatever compromise Republicans and Democrats can reach.