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At this crucial time, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer should be working with President Trump and congressional Republicans on a clean bill to replenish critical funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) before they run out.
The PPP has proven to be a massively popular program, helping to keep small businesses afloat and keep employees on the payroll as we face the coronavirus battle.
As of April 11, the Small Business Administration has processed more than 800,000 applications totaling more than $200 billion with many more businesses applying daily.
While I’m glad that our small businesses are getting the assistance they deserve, the popularity of the program makes it a reality that the funds Congress overwhelmingly authorized three weeks ago through the CARES Act may run out and still leave millions of Americans without their paychecks.
Drawing on the lessons from the Great Recession, that would have a catastrophic ripple effect across all sectors: housing, manufacturing, service-based industries, and even our public health.
In an effort to replenish funding for the program, Senate Republicans proposed an additional $250 billion in resources through unanimous consent to ensure *****every***** small business that qualifies has access to these needed funds. That measure was stymied on the floor by Senate Democrats.
I believe we have an obligation to act for all those hardworking Americans who make our communities so industrious and vibrant, to all the folks who saved up their money, took a chance on a thriving economy the last few years to open up a new business and employ more of their neighbors.
We have an obligation to act on behalf of Americans who day in and day out do the good, honest work that needs to be done to move America forward, purchase their first home, and build a brighter future day by day.
Both Republicans and Democrats already agreed to the terms of the PPP program set by the CARES Act with broad, bipartisan, and nearly unanimous support last month. From the beginning, we all understood that the PPP is crucial for us to overcome the scourge of this coronavirus pandemic and for our economy to emerge stronger and more dynamic than ever.
All that is needed is quick action to supplement the original funding, so no business shuts down due to lack of federal funding.
Together, we can act on behalf of the people who form the backbone of the American economy like the folks right here in America’s heartland. You find them on the manufacturing assembly lines in Sedalia and Lebanon, in the bustling restaurants and shops in Columbia and Clinton, and on the farms and ranches throughout our rural communities.
It’s on behalf of them that my colleagues and I are pushing forward with this legislation to keep them safe and economically secure.
I eagerly invite Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer to work with us earnestly to protect these hardworking Americans and to confront this pandemic on all fronts without delay and without partisan games.
Republican Vicky Hartzler represents Missouri's Fourth District in the United States House of Representatives.