The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program exhausted the $350 billion for small-business loans Thursday, and efforts to add $250 billion to the pool appear to have stalled.
“The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding,” a message on the program’s page on the SBA website notes, providing a link to enhanced debt relief under other SBA programs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a Wednesday afternoon statement that the PPP would “exhaust its funding in a matter of hours. It will have to stop accepting applications for job-saving loans.”
Democrats, McConnell said, “have spent days blocking emergency funding for Americans’ paychecks and now the bipartisan program has run dry.”
Democrats insist on $250 billion more for state and local governments, hospitals and food stamps, Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist for AGF Investments, said in his Thursday morning briefing. “Republicans want only the $250 billion for small businesses, and neither side has budged.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could eventually iron out a compromise, Valliere said, “but a lone dissenter could block unanimous consent, requiring members of Congress to return to Washington.”
“The cost of continued Democratic obstruction will be pink slips and shuttered businesses,” McConnell added. “We hope Democrats see reason soon and finally heed Republicans’ repeated calls for a funding bill that can quickly earn unanimous consent from all 100 senators and become law.”