WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement today regarding an update on additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program portion of the CARES Act:
“I am encouraged that Democratic leaders have finally agreed to reopen the Paycheck Protection Program and abandon a number of their unrelated demands.
“Republicans never wanted this crucial program for workers and small businesses to shut down. We tried to pass additional funding a week before it lapsed. But Democratic leaders blocked the money and spent days trying to negotiate extraneous issues that were never on the table. I am grateful our colleagues have walked away from those demands and will finally let Congress act.
“This bipartisan agreement will provide more than $320 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is already helping millions of small-business employees receive paychecks instead of pink slips. This is even more money than Senate Republicans first requested. At our request, there will now be a special focus on community banks and credit unions. Thanks to the hard work of colleagues such as Senator Collins and Senator Rubio, there will also be $60 billion more for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and because of the hard work of Senator Roberts, Senator Daines, and our other colleagues from rural states, it will be clear that farmers and ranchers are eligible.
“In the week-plus while our Democratic colleagues delayed the urgent PPP funds, additional federal help for hospitals and healthcare providers became urgent as well. Republicans have always supported more medical funding as soon as necessary and I am proud this package will provide roughly $75 billion more to fund hospitals and healthcare providers in this crisis. Thanks to Chairman Alexander and Senator Blunt, there is also an additional $25 billion for state-led COVID-19 testing plans and for research, development, and other testing support from key agencies such as the CDC and the NIH.
“I welcome this bipartisan agreement and hope the Senate will quickly pass it once members have reviewed the final text. I am just sorry that it took my colleagues in Democratic leadership 12 days to accept the inevitable, and that they shut down emergency support for Main Street in a search for partisan ‘leverage’ that never materialized. The American people are counting on Congress to put aside reflexive partisanship and work across the aisle to help our nation through this pandemic.”