Amid high demand for federal help, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he would try to approve additional funding for a small business loan program intended to assist companies that have faced coronavirus impacts. The legislator said the $350 billion effort would require more money in the near future.
McConnell said in a statement, “In just a few days, this program has become overwhelmingly popular. Thanks to the hard work of small businesses and lenders, billions of dollars have already landed, and tens of billions more are already in the pipeline. Jobs are literally being saved as we speak. But as [U.S. Treasury] Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin has explained, Congress needs to quickly provide more funding or this crucial program will run dry. That cannot happen.”
Mnuchin said in a social media post that he has talked with leaders in Congress to receive more funding for the small business loan effort. On Tuesday (April 7), he tweeted, “At the direction of President @realDonaldTrump , I’ve spoken with @SenateMajLdr , @SenSchumer , @SpeakerPelosi , and @GOPLeader to secure an additional $250 billion for the #PPPLoan program to make sure small businesses get the money they need!”
Multiple Democrats also wrote to Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday (April 7), noting that financial institutions and companies were having difficulty with the program and required assistance.
U.S. Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren said in a letter, per Reuters, “I am concerned that you have been unable to quickly set up the PPP so that these businesses can receive this funding in an expedient and fair manner.”
Complaints from Congress originated following a rough beginning for a program that has faced paperwork confusion and technical challenges. A rush to put the plan into action led the government to make last-minute modifications to the program.
The PPP is part of a $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed by President Donald Trump in late March to mitigate coronavirus pandemic losses.