Despite setbacks and extended debate, members of Congress may be on the verge of approving new legislation that will see updated funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.
As proposed, the legislation will also include $300 per week federal unemployment benefits, designed to last until the end of the year. The measure will also offer up to $20 billion in assistance for ranchers, farmers, and other producers.
Almost certainly, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the latest relief bill will not include a second $1,200 stimulus check.
An initial $1,200 check was approved last spring as part of the larger Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Attempts since mid-summer to pass a second check have met with any number of legislative roadblocks. In a statement, McConnell said that members of his caucus are focusing on a “new targeted proposal,” which will center on “the most urgent healthcare, education, and economic issues.”
According to reports, the targeted proposal will also include a shield protecting re-opened businesses from lawsuits.
McConnell additionally wants $285 billion in funding for the Payroll Protection Program.
Also established by the CARES Act, the Payroll Protection Program provides funds for up to 8 weeks of payroll costs for any number of small businesses.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was so far disappointed with the proposed Republican stimulus legislation, remarking, “It does not solve the problem.”
“We know that we have to compromise,” the Speaker continued. “We know we have to negotiate in order to reach an agreement.”
Democrats have generally supported additional funding for the Payroll Protection Program, which is run out of the Small Business Administration and expired in early August.
Between April and August more than 5 million loans have been approved under the payroll protection initiative, comprising roughly $525 billion.
By Garry Boulard
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