WASHINGTON, D.C. (LEX 18) — When it comes to passing additional funding for small business loans, the Senate is at a stalemate. Democrats and Republicans blocked competing proposals Thursday, which leaves people wondering if there will be bipartisan support for more relief funding.
The Senate was discussing an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program to make sure there’s enough money for small businesses waiting for relief. Both parties are blaming the other for the standstill.
Democrats blocked an effort by Senate Republicans to pass the measure by unanimous consent, which doesn’t require a vote for a bill to pass. Republicans blocked the alternative proposal put forward by Democrats, which included more funding for hospitals and state and local governments. Republicans argued there was an urgent need to pass more funding for small businesses now and that additional issues could be discussed later.
"We must not fail them. My colleagues must not treat working Americans as political hostages,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “This does not have to be, nor should it be contentious. We don't have to divide along the usual lines so soon after we came together for the country."
"I'm afraid that this unanimous consent is basically a political stunt because it will not address the immediate need of small businesses in the legislation that we have passed,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a democrat.
The Senate adjourned until Monday.