Democrats Delayed, Small Businesses Suffered

Democrats Stalled For ‘Leverage’ That Never Materialized, And In The Interim People Lost Livelihoods And Jobs

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “It became clear 12 days ago that the small business program was out of money already. The demand was enormous. Senate Republicans and the administration felt that we ought to immediately plus that up. That was not acceptable to the Democrats.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 4/21/2020)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “It’s unfortunate that it took our Democratic colleagues 12 days to agree to a deal that contains essentially nothing that Republicans ever opposed. In my view it is indefensible that Main Street small businesses and their workers had their assistance cut off for partisan ‘leverage.’ That was the word of choice for one leading House Democrat – ‘leverage.’ The American people cannot be political ‘leverage.’” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/21/2020)


As Washington Democrats Stalled For Political ‘Leverage,’ Main Street Small Businesses And Their Employees Struggled: ‘We Got Left Out,’ ‘We Did End Up Furloughing 99% Of Our Workforce’

WASHINGTON, D.C.: “The Alis started Ben’s Chili Bowl, a tiny diner that would later serve presidents and celebrities. … Yet the coronavirus has brought the storied business to its knees. And to add insult to injury, the family -- desperate for funding to keep their business afloat, watching 80 percent or more of their business evaporate -- was told Thursday that its application for a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was stuck in limbo, frozen while Republicans and Democrats fought over how best to spend taxpayer dollars on other rescue programs.” (“Coronavirus Pandemic Brings Ben’s Chili Bowl, Iconic DC Business, To Its Knees,” ABC News, 4/21/2020)

MICHIGAN: MARCIE SHOHAM, president of Midwest Air Filter: “Our application was submitted to the SBA through our lender….  We don’t know if we have gotten the approval for the loan nor have we gotten any information on any funding. … I think what happened was we got caught in the grey area when the funding ran out to when the application was at least submitted into the SBA.” (Fox News, 4/21/2020)

  • SHOHAM: “We did end up furloughing 99% of our workforce. We only have, currently, three people on payroll that are actively working. I have closed down a few of my branches … it’s been hard.” (Fox News, 4/21/2020)

MICHIGAN: “Stella and Kevin [Giannini] of Clinton Township [outside Detroit] have been anxious as of late. The husband wife duo are the owners of specialty flooring company Creative Surfaces…. In business now for 12 years, some of their big clients include Chipotle Mexican Grille, and even Taco Bell. It’s been a successful ride, but like many small businesses amid this pandemic, things have taken a turn. ‘One day we were working, the next day it was, we’re closed, we had to call everyone, you can’t come in, please file for unemployment,’ Stella says. ‘We kept thinking how are we going to keep the employees if they’re not working.’” (“Cash Strapped Small Business Owners Look For Relief While PPP Is Stalled,” WXYZ-TV Detroit, 4/21/2020)

CALIFORNIA: “A local group of San Diego County small business owners are expressing outrage and frustration after their failed efforts to secure a loan through the federal government’s initial $350 billion dollar Paycheck Protection Program or PPP…. [Larry] White [owner of Signature Towing in Chula Vista] says he applied for and was approved for a loan through his banker JP Chase Morgan earlier in the month. But the day after the loan program opened up, all funding was gone.” (“Small Business Owners Fume Over Inability To Secure Federal Loans,” NBC San Diego, 4/21/2020)

  • “White has owned his business for three years, and currently has four employees. He’s worried he’ll soon have to lay off his workers unless he’s able to secure a loan. ‘They’ve dedicated their lives to us, to work for our companies, to help us build a future, but yet we’re denying them that opportunity if we have to lay them off or let them go. It’s a sad truth, but that’s where we’re headed if we don’t get this money,’ said White.” (“Small Business Owners Fume Over Inability To Secure Federal Loans,” NBC San Diego, 4/21/2020)

UTAH: “After Wells Fargo stopped taking applications, Matt Fhuere, the owner of a 14-person classic car restoration shop in Salt Lake City, Utah, opened up a new bank account. He waited on hold with the SBA for over three hours multiple times as he applied for several relief programs. ‘I paid my accountant $500 to prepare, only to have to fill out their forms, finally get approval, on the same day money ran out,’ he said.” (“Small-Business Loan Program Ran Out Of Money Within Minutes, Some Banks Say,” NBC News, 4/18/2020)


REMINDER: Democratic Leaders Blocked A Quick Infusion Of More Money For Small Businesses Two Weeks Ago

APRIL 9: LEADER McCONNELL: “[The Paycheck Protection Program] gives small businesses emergency capital so that workers can keep getting paychecks instead of pink slips…. [T]his job-saving program is attractive to small business. Employers can access it. But it also means we need more funding, and we need it fast…. I will ask unanimous consent to increase the funding for the Paycheck Protection Program to a new total of $600 billion. I am not talking about changing any policy language that both sides have already negotiated together several weeks ago. I am literally talking about deleting the number 350 and writing 600 in its place.” (Sen. McConnell, Congressional Record, S.2167, 4/09/2020)

  • SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “Reserving the right to object. … I am afraid that this unanimous consent is basically a political stunt because it will not address the immediate need of small businesses in the legislation that we have passed … The SBA doesn’t need money today to process the Paycheck Protection Program…. I object.” (Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S.2168-2170, 4/9/2020)
  • SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): “Mr. President, reserving the right to object. This is an unfortunate moment for the U.S. Senate. … Yet, today, we see from the majority leader a complete political stunt here on the floor of the U.S. Senate … This was, in fact, designed to fail, designed as a political stunt.” (Sen. Van Hollen, Congressional Record, S.2169, 4/9/2020)

APRIL 16: “The initial $349 billion pool for emergency loans for small businesses derailed by the coronavirus pandemic has run dry … The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) have tapped the entirety of funding allotted for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable loans to small businesses intended to keep workers on payroll and small firms from going under.” (“Small Business Loan Program Out Of Money Amid Impasse Over New Funds,” The Hill, 4/16/2020)

  • “Much of the $350 billion in the Small Business Administration’s emergency coronavirus relief fund was effectively spoken for within the first minutes of launch, according to senior banking executives. ‘We didn’t even get through the first five minutes of applications,’ a JPMorgan Chase senior banking executive said. The bank received over 60,000 applicants for the Paycheck Protection Program within those first five minutes, a senior executive at Chase said.” (“Small-Business Loan Program Ran Out Of Money Within Minutes, Some Banks Say,” NBC News, 4/18/2020)

Speaker Pelosi: ‘I Congratulate Senate Democrats’ For Objecting To More Funding For The Paycheck Protection Program, There Is ‘No Data As To Why We Need It,’ ‘So, We Have Time To Negotiate’

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: “This morning, Leader McConnell honored that request--I say honor, really, dishonored the needs that we have with the stunt on the floor of the Senate requesting that $250 billion, No data as to why we need it and the rest when there are outstanding needs.… Eventually will we need more for PPP? Okay, let’s see the data, but right now, they haven’t spent even a third of that. Say, they have spent a third, they still have two thirds of it left. So, we have time to negotiate to see how and where and when we should have more money there.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 4/9/2020)

SPEAKER PELOSI: “So, last week, when they came, they asked for a quarter of a trillion dollars in 48 hours, I said, well, I don’t -- I don’t think so. … So, Chuck Schumer and I, as this all happened on the Senate side, and I congratulate the Senate Democrats, they went to the floor when Mitch McConnell went in for $250 billion. And they said -- they objected ...” (MSNBC, 4/14/2020)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Economy, Small Business, COVID-19, Middle Class, Jobs