Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Sam Graves (6th District of Missouri)
COVID relief for businesses still hangs in the balance this week as Senator Schumer and his caucus blocked critical aid for American workers and small business owners, not once, but twice. On Tuesday, they blocked a plan to get the highly successful Paycheck Protection Program back up and running and on Wednesday, they blocked a broader measure that would provide increased unemployment benefits, resources to help our schools reopen and stay open safely, and continued funding for testing and vaccines.
Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi claim that they only oppose these efforts because they want more coronavirus relief. Let me repeat that, they’re actively blocking coronavirus aid for American workers and small businesses because they want more of it. If that doesn’t twist your brain in a knot, I’m not sure what will. It appears that the driving force behind their broken logic isn’t a desire to help Americans in need, but a cold political calculation that they believe will help them in November.
In exchange for a few billion dollars to help American workers and small business owners, they’re demanding trillions to fund new stimulus checks for illegal immigrants and massive bailouts for states. Not federal funds to help states and cities patch short-term budget troubles brought on by this pandemic, but unprecedented, enormous bailouts for states that have been failing to properly balance their budgets for decades.
Meanwhile, American workers and small business owners are being left in the lurch. While the Paycheck Protection Program helped support 51 million American jobs and 5.2 million American small businesses, the program shut its doors to new applicants on August 8th and it wasn’t for a lack of funding. The program still has more than $130 billion in its coffers, money that could be used today to help small businesses and workers struggling to get by during this pandemic.
When the program was originally created, few imagined that the shutdowns and difficulties faced by small business owners would last for months, and certainly not well into November or later. While I’m glad that Missouri hasn’t locked down and kept businesses closed like other states continue to do, it’s obvious that business is still slow in some places. We’ve got to ensure that they are able to continue operating in the midst of the pandemic.
Enough is enough, it’s time to put the politics aside and do what’s right. We need to reauthorize the Paycheck Protection Program and get targeted aid to Americans in need now and we need to do it without bankrupting our country. American workers and small business owners simply can’t wait any longer.