With millions in small business owners still waiting for their bank to get back to them on the status of their business continuity loan/grant application, it appears that some applicants have been more equal than others, and according to the Journal, the small-business loan program also known as the Paycheck Protection Program (part of the Small Business Bailout Fund) - which now finds itself at the center of a clash between congressional Democrats and Republicans - is expected to run out of money later Wednesday.
Negotiations between Congress and the White House, which reportedly resumed Wednesday over replenishing the small-business loan program designed to support businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will take on a new urgency after the program is expected to exhaust its initial allocation of $350 billion as early as the close of business today. As of Wednesday morning, the Small Business Administration said it had approved about 1.3 million applications, totaling more than $289 billion in loans for small business bailouts.
While both Democrats and Republicans want to add $250 billion to the small-business aid program, the two parties have been sparring for days over whether to add restrictions to the funds. As reported previously, Democrats want to expand access to the loans as well as include more money for hospitals, food assistance and state and local governments. Republicans, on the other hand, said they want to keep the bill focused on increasing small-business aid and defer other funding debates until the next, broader legislation is crafted.
And so the political buck-passing continues: top Senate Democrate Chuck Schumer told reporters he had spoken with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Wednesday morning and that both House and Senate Democratic staff were expected to meet with officials from Mr. Mnuchin’s office later in the day.
“We see no reason why we can’t come to an agreement,” Mr. Schumer said. "We Democrats believe we need more money for small businesses, but we need it to go to the people who are under banked and underserved.”
As the WSJ added, the discussions were the first signs of progress this week, but it remains uncertain whether congressional leaders and President Trump will be able to reach an agreement by week’s end. Both chambers are scheduled to hold brief sessions later this week.
Meanwhile, the megacorportions are already benefitting from the surge in stock prices, which allows them to sell stock with at levels which rapidly are approaching all time highs. Assuming, of course, companies would sell stock (we know they would much rather buy it back), instead of simply waiting for their grants - which bar them from firing workers for a few more months - to hit.
And so once again the wealthy and politically connected win, as for everyone else...
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