WASHINGTON, D.C. (LEX 18) — The Paycheck Protection Program, a small business rescue fund set up by Congress, ran out of money Thursday, leaving many businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic without financial aid.
Congress gave out about $350 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program and lawmakers were discussing adding more funds. Before they could reach an agreement though, the Senate adjourned until next week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the Senate floor Thursday, calling on democrats to rise "above politics" in support of financial aid for small businesses.
Since the Paycheck Protection Program ran out of money, the Small Business Administration can no longer accept new applications. The program was created to provide loans that would help cover salaries, benefits, and other costs to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
According to Politico, Senator McConnell said there’s been “absolutely no progress” when it comes to passing a deal to add more money to the program.
One reason for the deadlock is that Democrats want to include more funding for hospitals and state and local governments in the deal, but Republicans have argued the focus needs to be on small businesses right now.
”Five million more Americans lost their jobs just last week. That makes 20 million layoffs in just one month,” said Senator McConnell. “Americans need Democrats to stop blocking emergency paycheck money and let this job-saving program reopen.”
The Senate adjourned until Monday.