Pelosi Calls For More SMB Funding For COVID-19 Relief

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Not content with the $2 trillion in coronavirus relief Congress passed last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants more small business loan funding, additional direct payments to individuals and an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance, CNBC reported.

Pelosi spoke with CNBC’s Jim Cramer of  “Squawk on the Street,” on Friday (April 3) on the heels of a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that said total nonfarm employment fell by 701,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent from a half-century low of 3.5 percent.

In the interview, Pelosi called for another bill to expand the provisions of the original stimulus package to limit the economic devastation from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Right now, I think that we have a good model,” Pelosi told CNBC. “It was bipartisan, it was signed by the president. But it’s not enough.”

Pelosi said Congress must do more than provide the payouts of up to $1,200 per taxpayer lawmakers just approved. She is advocating for more small business loan funding on top of the $350 billion in the last law, and to extend beefed up unemployment insurance for two more months.

“Let’s do what we just agreed to, except make it more current,” the speaker said about what she wants to see in a fourth coronavirus relief bill. Pelosi added that an infrastructure proposal House Democrats outlined this week as a potential recovery plan “may have to be for a bill beyond this.”

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, with healthcare resources being depleted and the economy being battered, Congress has begun to consider whether the government needs to do more in addition to the latest coronavirus reef bill, which is the largest emergency spending package in U.S. history. Lawmakers will not return to Washington until April 20 at the earliest.

The White House has been open to further economic relief efforts, according to reports. President Donald Trump said Thursday the government will “probably do more” than the $2 trillion in stimulus money.

While the coronavirus relief effort has been bipartisan, Republicans in Congress have been wary about spending more federal money at this time, the report said.

Prior to the jobs report Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), told CNBC on Friday the “focus should be implementing those and making sure they’re working.”