WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled Senate did not advance a standalone bill to help fund forgivable loans for small businesses on Tuesday.
What You Need To Know
- A push to add PPP funds with a standalone bill failed in the Republican-controlled Senate Tuesday
- 1 in 3 businesses say they won't survive without help
- The Paycheck Protection Program gave out $500 billion in forgivable loans between April and August
The procedural vote halted the GOP’s new PPP extension, producing a 40-57 result. It has been almost 3 months since the Paycheck Protection Program stopped taking applications. Without the prospect of another round soon, some are fearing the worst.
“It is dire and it is getting more dire,” said John Arensmeyer, the founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, a national small business advocacy organization.
Arensmeyer said he’s looking at grim forecasts for entrepreneurs if Congress doesn’t act soon.
“The most recent survey we did, one in three businesses say they aren’t going to survive, whereas just doing a survey less than two months ago, it was just over 25%," he said in an interview with Spectrum News. "So, we see this number growing."
A renewed push by Senate Republicans to add money to the Paycheck Protection Program with a stand-alone bill failed to advance on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConenell says Democrats are to blame for holding up this effort.
“The PPP has been taken hostage by Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Democrats say they want the program to be funded within a larger stimulus package, and questioned McConnell’s motives.
“The Republican leader is filled with stunts and playing the smallest of small ball when so many are hurting,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
The Paycheck Protection Program lent out more than $500 billion in forgivable loans between April and August. However, those loans were only meant to cover just eight weeks of expenses.
Arensmeyer said the small businesses in his network want to see a sweeping economic package passed.
“If you don’t have money flowing through the economy right now, even if you have a PPP program, if you don’t have customers that’s a big problem,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, the architect of the loan program, has a different view.
“Let’s at least do this. It isn’t everything, but it’s a lot and it’s something and it will matter,” he said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday.
"There’s no reason not to do it. It will in no way keep us from doing the other things that need to be done,” he added.
The last time Congress passed a comprehensive package was in March. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House are moving closer to a deal, although she’s downplaying the importance of a deadline she set, which was supposed to be by the end of the day on Tuesday.