The $349 billion program to help small businesses reeling from the COVID-19 outbreak could be exhausted by Thursday, a top White House adviser said, but negotiations in Congress to replenish it remain stalled.
“At the present run-rate, we’re going to be out of money,” Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, said Tuesday on Fox Business Network.
As of midday Tuesday, almost 1.1 million applications, totaling more than $257 billion, had been approved since the Small Business Administration program launched April 3.
Trump and the GOP want to add another $250 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, but Democrats have been holding out to expand the stimulus to include aid for state and local governments and hospitals.
Despite the looming shortfall, there is no sign of negotiations between the administration and congressional leaders to break a deadlock over how to proceed.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday tweeted to his followers, asking them to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to support the added funding for small business and drop their additional demands.
RT to tell Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to STOP blocking critical funding for small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program is about to run out of money—millions of jobs are hanging in the balance. Congress MUST ACT!
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 14, 2020
Pelosi and Schumer back the small business program funding, but want changes that ensure the pool of lenders extends well beyond big banks. They also want an additional $250 billion in aid for state and local governments as well as for hospitals in whatever Congress does next.