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Senate Democrats block urgent small business package and demand bill with larger scope and cost


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Democrats blocked an urgent small-business relief package Thursday after Republicans ignored their demand to double the funding and increase the scope of the legislation.

 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, responding to a request from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, hoped to pass a bill quickly to replenish a small-business aid program with an infusion of $250 billion in federal funding.

But Democrats blocked the Kentucky Republican’s unanimous consent request to pass the measure out of the Senate and proposed their own $500 billion measure. 

"The Democratic leadership has suggested they may hold Americans' paychecks hostage unless we pass another sweeping bill that spends a half a trillion dollars doubling down on a number of parts of the CARES Act, including parts that haven't even started to work yet. The country cannot afford more wrangling or political maneuvering. There is zero chance the sprawling proposal Democrats have gestured toward could pass either chamber by unanimous consent this week. No chance," McConnell said.:snip:

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Trump and Democrats jostle over small business pandemic relief

President Trump and Republicans face tricky negotiations in the days ahead over additional small business relief. 

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, working with the Trump administration, has called for passing, on Thursday, an additional $250 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses, to add to the $350 billion included in the “phase three” coronavirus relief bill. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, though, demanded Wednesday that the bill also include their own priorities, more than doubling the cost. 

In addition to the small business funding, they are seeking $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for state and local governments, and a 15% increase in food stamp benefits.:snip:

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