Leaders on Capitol Hill were still at an impasse on Monday (April 13) over additional coronavirus relief as the current funding dwindles and is expected to run out by Friday (April 17).
The stalemate over the size and execution of the next funding round for businesses means Congress could be delayed beyond April 20 in getting back to work, aides told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in a Monday (April 13) report.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) said that he didn’t think the House would reconvene until May 4 because of the coronavirus.
Democrats want the new round of funds to include money for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and also include additional funding to help hospitals, food stamps and state and local governments. They are also pushing to fund more testing and benchmarks for how the virus affects different ethnicities.
“The collection and publication of demographic data are also desperately needed, so that we can accurately determine the level of impact on underserved communities and communities of color and direct needed resources to them immediately,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said in a joint statement.
Republicans don’t want any additional funding in the bill aside from money for small businesses.
“I have spoken to the leaders of Congress in both parties about the need for this relief. We have asked the administration to weigh in so that we can break this logjam in the Senate and get this done for the American people,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told the WSJ. Hogan is the Republican chairman of the National Governors Association.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla), the chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, said he is most concerned about businesses that were initially closed out of the small business funding.
“We’re really going to focus on CDFIs, Community Development Financial Institutions, to help focus on underserved communities,” Rubio said in a video on Twitter.
The CARES stimulus package passed at the end of March has approved $232 billion in forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) of the $350 billion allocated for SMB relief. The Trump administration said the program could run out of money by Friday.
The 30 million SMBs that employ roughly half of the U.S. workforce have been economically hit hard by mandates surrounding COVID-19. Despite SBA loans, not all businesses are confident they will survive the economic impact of the pandemic.