McConnell Urges ‘Unanimous Consent’ For Emergency PPP Funding As Schumer & Mnuchin Seek Short-Term Deal

[Image source: MSNBC video screenshots. Fox News video screenshot. Swamp Drain compilation].

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are in talks to avoid a nasty Senate floor fight between Democrats and Republicans that could leave a critical small-business loan program short on funds, reports The Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to ask for unanimous consent Thursday morning to approve an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, under which small businesses can get federally backed loans that will be forgiven if they keep workers on payroll during the coronavirus shutdown.

Senate Democrats, however, are threatening to object unless the Trump administration and GOP lawmakers agree to several concessions. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) say the package must ensure the money is getting to businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans in underserved communities.

Schumer and Pelosi also say it should include another $100 billion for hospitals and health care centers, $150 billion for state and local governments, and a 15 percent funding increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that provides food stamps.

The Democratic leaders want these concessions attached to Mnuchin’s request for an additional $250 billion for the $350 billion small-business relief program Congress passed last month as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, reports The Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to Twitter Wednesday in series of tweets, expressing why it’s urgent to approve an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. Continued Below

Senator McConnell tweeted: “Tomorrow morning, I’ll ask unanimous consent to pass standalone emergency funding for the hugely popular Paycheck Protection Program that is saving small-business jobs as we speak. As the rest of the CARES Act continues to come online, this key part is already low on funds.”

“Nobody thinks tomorrow will be the Senate’s last word on COVID-19. Other crucial parts of the CARES Act, like its historic funds for hospitals and healthcare providers, are still coming online and have not yet been exhausted. The PPP is where the lights are already flashing red,” he continued.

“If we want to act fast, Congress has to focus. There is no realistic chance that another sprawling bill, which allocates half a trillion dollars to a number of priorities, even important ones, will be able to pass the Senate or the House by unanimous consent this week,” McConnell wrote. Video Below

“Ten million Americans were laid off in just the last two weeks. Tomorrow morning will likely bring another historic unemployment figure. This is urgent,” McConnell expressed. “If Senators delay this urgent paycheck support to insist on a broader bill, more Americans will lose their jobs unnecessarily.”

“I hope none of my colleagues object to my request for these urgently-needed funds. There is no reason why this bipartisan job-saving program should be held hostage for other priorities. Let’s re-fund the only program that’s already running dry and keep moving forward together,” he added.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham weighs in on the anticipated vote for additional $250 billion in small business relief:

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Senator Mitch McConnell’s official tweets: