Mitch McConnell Scolds Democrats For Allowing Payroll Protection Plan To ‘Shut Down’: “It’s Absolutely Surreal”

[Image source: C-SPAN video screenshot. Fox News video screenshot. The Freedom Times compilation].

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has exhausted the last of the $349 billion in funding it was provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to make forgivable loans to small businesses, reported Countable.

A week ago, Senate Republicans tried to pass a “clean” bill by unanimous consent that would have simply boosted PPP funding by $250 billion. Senate Democrats objected and blocked the bill.

The PPP hit its lending limit Thursday morning after approving more than 1.6 million small business loans valued at $339 billion. The remaining $10 billion is allocated for covering loan fees on approved small business loans. Until Congress passes a bill to increase funding for PPP loans, the Small Business Administration is unable to accept new loan applications or admit new lenders into the program, reported Countable.

On Thursday, the Senate met in a pro forma session, which is constitutionally mandated, absent a larger adjournment agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke briefly on the floor scolding Democrats before the Senate adjourned for the week without an agreement.

“One week ago, Mr. President, I warned that the Paycheck Protection Program was running out of money,” Senator McConnell said on the floor, referring to the Paycheck Protection Program. “I tried to pass a clean funding bill. Senate Democrats blocked it.”

“So here’s where we are. A week later, with absolutely no progress. This morning the program ran out of money and shut down, just as I warned a week ago. Even now, Senate Democrats are still blocking funding. Every Senate Republican was ready to act today. But Democrats would not let us reopen the program,” McConnell explained. Continued Below

“It’s absolutely surreal to see Democratic leaders treat support for workers and small businesses as something they need to be goated into supporting,” the Kentucky senator proclaimed. “This really should be above politics.”

“5 million more Americans lost their jobs just last week. That makes 20 million layoffs in just one month. Americans need Democrats to stop blocking emergency paycheck money and let this job-saving program reopen. I hope our colleagues will come around soon,” he expressed.

The impasse will last until at least Monday when the Senate is next expected to convene for another “pro forma” session. Video Below

Mitch McConnell’s official remarks:

Senator McConnell and congressional GOP leaders, however, have shown no signs of backing down from their preference for a “clean” bill that would only include the small business funds.

“The cost of continued Democratic obstruction will be pink slips and shuttered businesses. We hope Democrats see reason soon and finally heed Republicans’ repeated calls for a funding bill that can quickly earn unanimous consent from all 100 senators and become law,” McConnell said in a joint statement on Wednesday with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

President Trump slammed Democrats in a tweet Thursday, shortly before the Senate session, saying Democrats are “blocking additional funding for the popular Paycheck Protection Program.”

“They are killing American small businesses. Stop playing politics Dems! Support Refilling PPP NOW – it is out of funds!” he declared.

(Related: Sean Hannity Rips Nancy Pelosi: “You Are The Reason America Hates Career Politicians, Like Yourself”)