Funding for a popular loan program to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic is nearly depleted and could be used up by the end of Wednesday or Thursday at noon.
On Wednesday evening, the Small Business Administration helped issue 1.3 million loans totaling $ 305 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), putting the program on track to hit its limit of $ 349 billion. before Friday.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has guaranteed loans averaging nearly $ 240,000 each.
The loan facility was implemented as part of the $ 2.2 trillion coronavirus relief program President TrumpDonald Trump Hillicon Valley – Biden’s Disinformation Warning About Money – Biden Plea: Don’t Count on Build Back Better Biden Reflects on Extension of Student Loan Freeze MORE promulgated on March 27.
After a flood of applications overwhelmed banks and credit unions across the United States, industry advocates urged Congress to quickly replenish PPP funding before another backlog of applications crept in. accumulated.
Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, told reporters on a call Wednesday that lenders would need about $ 1,000 billion to meet demand for PPP loans.
Hunt also argued that efforts to direct funding toward specific communities and demographics could “slow” the Small Business Rescue Loan program.
“Lenders, banks should not be given preferential treatment, depending on the size of their assets or the communities they serve,” he said. “We need speed. So if Congress would just pass what we call a clean bill so that we can pay more money to small businesses, that would be ideal.”
Administration officials and congressional leaders are scrambling to add more funding.
Democratic Leader in the Senate Charles schumerChuck Schumer Does anyone like Congress more? Manchin’s “intervention” may have saved the Democratic Party – so far Manchin says he won’t vote for Build Back Better: “That’s a no” MORE (NY) and Secretary of the Treasury Steven mnuchinSteven MnuchinSuspect in Khashoggi Murder Arrested The Hill’s Morning Report – Featured By Facebook – Biden To Tackle Omicron Risks With New Travel Rules Mnuchin And McConnell Discuss Debt Limit In Brief Meeting MORE spoke on Wednesday in hopes of reaching an agreement to provide an additional $ 250 billion to the program, as well as at least $ 250 billion for hospitals and state governments.
Democratic Senate and House staff were scheduled to speak with Treasury officials later today.
Democrats say a deal is to reserve SBA loans for women-owned and minority businesses in underserved urban, rural and tribal communities.
They say the $ 250 billion for the small business loan program must be matched with $ 100 billion in new funding for hospitals and $ 150 billion in new money for struggling state and local governments. budget due to the pandemic.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi Biden Reflects On Extension Of Student Loan Freeze Trump To Hold Mar-a-Lago Press Conference Jan. 6 Rebuild Better Could Be A Drastic Change For American Women MORE (D-Calif.), Who works closely with Schumer, released a statement Wednesday afternoon reiterating the Democrats’ demands.
“Democrats know that for the Paycheque Protection Program to be successful, it has to work for everyone. That’s why we asked the administration to work with us to help: small, under-banked businesses and others who are struggling to access PPP; desperate state and local governments; hospitals on the front line of the epidemic, ”she said in the statement.
“As has become clear from last week, the Republicans’ bill that does not address these critical issues cannot obtain unanimous consent in the House,” she said.
Majority Leader in the Senate Mitch mcconnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCollins is open to revamping the expiring Child Tax Credit negotiations. The Republican Senator texted Joe Manchin about his GOP membership. (R-Ky.) Last week, asked for unanimous consent to pass a net infusion of $ 250 billion in funding for the small business loan program, but Senate Democrats opposed, citing the need for hospitals and state and local governments to also receive more money.
Niv Elis contributed.
Updated at 5:07 p.m.