Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that he’ll work with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to approve more funding by Thursday for the Paycheck Protection Program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Mnuchin called for another $250 billion to be added to the original $349 billion in PPP funds, according to a tweet from the treasury secretary.
McConnell said that he’d seek a unanimous consent or voice vote during the next scheduled Senate session on Thursday.
“Congress needs to act with speed and total focus to provide more money for this uncontroversial bipartisan program,” McConnell said.
According to published reports, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said on Fox News on Tuesday morning that as of Monday evening, about 178,000 loans for $50 billion had been processed. That amount hasn’t been given to businesses yet but rather is the value of loans SBA has registered and guaranteed for lenders to complete the process and disburse funds.
Meanwhile, Politico reported Tuesday that President Donald Trump has “upended the panel of federal watchdogs overseeing implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus law, tapping a replacement for the Pentagon official who was supposed to lead the effort.”
A panel of inspectors general had named Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the coronavirus relief effort, Politico reported. “But Trump on Monday removed Fine from his post, instead naming the [Environmental Protection Agency] inspector general to serve as the temporary Pentagon watchdog in addition to his other responsibilities.”
That decision “effectively removed Fine from his role overseeing the coronavirus relief effort, since the new law permits only current inspectors general to fill the position,” Politico said.
Schumer said in a Tuesday statement that “President Trump’s corrupt action to sideline Acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who was newly-appointed as chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, only strengthens Democrats’ resolve to hold the administration accountable and enforce the multiple strict oversight provisions of the CARES Act.”
The Federal Reserve said Monday that it would create a new program to finance the loans, which will free up banks’ balance sheets to increase lending.
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