Senate to take up small business coronavirus relief

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that he plans to bring up a bill to fund the small business loan program next week.

He said the bill will include new funding for the popular small business Paycheck Protection Program.

“There is no excuse for Democrats to keep blocking job-saving funding for the Paycheck Protection Program while other conversations continue,” Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said in a statement. “Democrats have spent months blocking policies they do not even oppose. They say anything short of their multi-trillion-dollar wish list, jammed with non-COVID-related demands, is ‘piecemeal’ and not worth doing.”

“Republicans do not agree that nothing is better than something for working families,” he added.

With Republicans having only a narrow majority in the Senate, they’d need a handful of Democrats to join them in order to overcome another filibuster on this proposal.

The last time Senate Republicans brought up coronavirus relief last month — a $500 billion “skinny” bill — it was blocked on a stark party-line vote.

The bill would have provided more than $250 billion for another round of small business loans, $105 billion for schools, and $16 billion for testing and contact tracing resources.

It also included liability protection against COVID-related injuries and converts a $10 billion loan for the Postal Service into a grant.

Talks between the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, for a more comprehensive deal have been ongoing for weeks, but remain at an impasse.

Over the weekend, Mrs. Pelosi rejected the administration’s $1.8 trillion offer.

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