Commentary / Coronavirus

Congress Halts Aid to Small Businesses – Stays at Home, Paid

democratsCongress has been “out of session” for a month. The Democrat-controlled House will only return May 4th – at the earliest. They are getting paid. Meanwhile, the Small Business Administration’s Payment Protection Program (PPP), lifeline intended to save jobs and solvency for 25 million American small businesses – has run out of money. Where is Congress?

Inexplicably, when the US Senate convened last week and sought $250 billion in added support for SBA’s PPP program, which has now run dry – the move was blocked by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) for Senate Democrats, House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Why?

Said Cardin: “The SBA doesn’t need money today to process the Paycheck Protection Program.” House and Senate Democrats argue no bill should pass without $150 billion more in payments to state and local governments and hospitals, while targeting at least $60 billion for minorities.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pleaded for quick action to save America’s small businesses, promising not to address other needs. Said McConnell: “We need more funding — and we need it fast” for PPP. “To my Democratic colleagues, do not block emergency aid you do not oppose just because you want something more … We do not have to do everything right now.” Democrats blocked it anyway – and stayed out of town.

What of Cardin’s contention that SBA “doesn’t need money” for PPP? According to SBA, they are officially “unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding” and “are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time.” Why? They have no more money.

The remarkable nature of this impasse is made more remarkable by another fact: Small businesses across Democratic states, as well as Republican states, are desperate for money to survive. This is their D-Day, their make it or disappear day, their keep employees on or go broke day. Taken as a whole, small businesses make up 90 percent (or more) of businesses in most states (99 percent in California) and provide between 50 and 80 percent of all jobs.

Incredibly, the only purpose of PPP is to save small businesses and those jobs, allowing loans to cover 2.5 times payroll, forgivable after eight weeks if no one is laid off. Could it be simpler?

Unlike the rationale behind bankruptcies and restructuring, which is forgiveness and encouragement of risk-taking, these businesses need loans no fault of their own. These are loans that mature into grants for companies that made no mistakes – they were solvent. They simply suffer now from laws that closed them down and destroyed their customer base.

How in the name of fairness, decency, equity and free markets can Pelosi, Schumer, Cardin and the Democrat socialist machine deny to these businesses their survival? When these are the very Americans who put life savings – and their lives in many cases – into these companies? And when they employ more than half the country? This is the heartbeat of capitalism.

These Democrats are either unschooled in how the economy works, imagining small businesses can vanish and reappear willy-nilly, or they do not care, or they want them to fail, opening the door to socialist control and defeating President Trump. Either way, blocking this critical legislation is patently wrong.

The irony is that small businesses are central to California, New York, and Maryland. They are where production and consumption, employment and spending originate. Government bureaucrats do not make things; the private sector does. These businesses that the Democrats would let fail are the jobs – and voters – on whom these same representatives depend.

So, what gives? Somehow House and Senate Democrats believe – once again – that the big game is defeating Donald Trump. Accordingly, they will starve the program he initiated to save our economy, save small businesses, save these jobs. Somehow, they imagine defeating this SBA effort, in the name of greater equity, federal control, and directed resources will win votes.

With no crystal ball – and little faith in crystal balls – I cannot say what will happen in November. I cannot assure that these members will lose votes from those whose lives they are changing forever. But that is my guess. This is an indefensible act of venality and hubris, allowing American businesses to fail in the name of crass politics.

As America’s essential workers, doctors and nurses, grocers and truckers, public transit drivers, pharmacists and family bill payers struggle to make it – struggle to help America survive –members of Congress refuse to return to Washington to cast votes, even to reopen the session, for fear of coronavirus.

What an ironic time we live in – essential workers in masks, taking risks for us, while Congress hides at home for fear of a virus, refusing aid that will save these and other jobs. Non-essential businesses are left to struggle and fail, effectively shut down by government.

Members of Congress – of which 261 are millionaires, including Pelosi and Cardin – earn an uninterrupted $174,000 base salary. They enjoy handsome paychecks, now with time at home on extended “recess,” toilet paper, fancy food, tax breaks, special healthcare, and a monetary policy that popped their stocks – while the majority of America suffers. Is that right?

If there was ever a message to the voters – this would be it. These members seem to care less about the average Joe or Jane, Sam or Sue, Mac or Mary. They care about themselves. November cannot come soon enough.

Meantime, SBA’s PPP program funding should be approved by unanimous consent in both chambers – immediately. Maybe that will happen by mid-week. Odds are even it will not, unless Democrats get smart and relent. Note to Congress: Like small business, your jobs are essential. So, please come to work.

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Melva Libb
2 years ago

Do you know why they won’t return until after May 4? Do some research on “Bohemian Grove.”

2 years ago

“Democrats blocked it anyway – and stayed out of town.” I’m sure this was under the direction of the patriotic, intelligent, cares about the small business owner and worker, House Speaker Nancy Patricia Pelosi. What a joke…

2 years ago

We can holler forever about cutting their salaries , etc,,etc.. That obviously would take an act of congress?!! Why can’t President Trump go on TV and express these same points to the public? Pressure needs to be brought to bear NOW! I fear waiting for November elections is waiting too long for action NOW. Massive public outcry has to take place now if we’re to have any chance of saving this country from the disaster called socialism ! I have to believe the President expressing these exact points would have tremendous impact. I’m puzzled as to why these points aren’t being expressed on a national scale other than just AMAC? We’re preaching to the choir here.

H L Howell
2 years ago

The majority of the uninformed democrats will not understand what Pelosi and co. are doing. I had a friend who votes dem. because his union,and mine, told him to vote dem. I am a proud republican and I vote who I think is the best person for the job. That being said, I now know that the democRATs are not the ones that fit that bill. The tax and spend democRAT liberal socialist must be defeated or our country is doomed to follow all the other failed socialist countries. Please for the sake of your children, vote republican.

Pam M.
2 years ago

Politicians should take a cut in pay. Democrats should forfeit pay for not being in session during this crisis. They play while America burns!

2 years ago

Open it up! Rules like Swiss and Israel! Time to go all in!

dino deplorable
2 years ago

Kick the low life dense oc RATS out of our country.If they won’t work with the President that WE elected,what good are they.The country and both parties really need to work together,but the dense oc RATS are far to vindictive to do this.

Cj Schutte
2 years ago

This all part of their big plan to blame our President and bankrupt our economy. Again to blame President Trump ( that he had built up) and to ruin the middle class people. They just want a high class and low class so they control everything.

2 years ago

most of congress need a permanent stay at home vacation.

C. Bass
2 years ago

The Democratic house is over paid for making more than $1.00 per year!! They are only interested in themselves and not the American people!!

Tim Witthauer
2 years ago

The demorats lost my vote a long time ago!!!

2 years ago

This is nuts. Anybody who votes dem should be tried for treason !!!

2 years ago

Still waiting for stimulus check! I’ve been out of work about a month and have filed every week for the last 4 weeks. Still no money! State of Ohio. I receive constant requests for political donations, but if you don’t send money, no one wants to hear from you, When the tap starts flowing I will consider very closely donating again. But until then, stop the shotgun approach to raising funds and re-think your options. I easily get 40, 50 or more e-mails a day from 15 or 20 different sources.

2 years ago

Our congress makes me so upset….and then we give them the full pay for retirement….for what!

2 years ago

I think we can all agree that the House should not get paid as well!!

Thomas M Murray
2 years ago

$$$$ for minorities?? Why do the Dems always have to bring ethnicity into everything? If I was a minority that would be insulting. I don’t want special privileges, I just want the same thing everyone else gets. Small business owners don’t have a color. They are just like any other small business owner. The Dems are the biggest racist on the planet and they can’t even see that.

Bob L.
2 years ago

I think the Democratic Party and it’s politicians should be listed as a subversive organization.

2 years ago

Does threat last week by Trump to adjourn Congress unless they approve his 92 candidates for offices?? This cannot help bipartisan thinking in my opinion.

josephine pooley
2 years ago

Horrible, undefensible! STOP their paychecks and use the $$ to save small businesses!

Richard I Pigott
2 years ago

Congress no longer represents the people, is about as useless as tits on a goose & should be dissolved!

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