Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Governor John Bel Edwards at the podium during today’s press conference.
Congressman Scalise shared the unfortunate news that funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has run out. He shared that Senate leaders have been working towards securing more funding to continue to help businesses stay open and pay their employees.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is one of the most effective ways to keep small businesses afloat and American workers employed during this pandemic. With more than 1.4 million loans granted to small businesses, totaling nearly $350 billion in loans, we repeatedly warned that PPP would run out of money this week. Senate leaders acted last week to renew funding for this critical assistance, but unfortunately Democrats in the Senate blocked it.
“Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer need to stop holding small businesses and workers across America hostage to their endless spending demands and work with us to keep this program alive so that our small businesses can stay alive, along with the millions of jobs they provide to hard-working families. The solution is simple: a clean, standalone funding bill for the PPP. No games, no gimmicks. Democrats must rise to the moment and join Republicans to deliver the critical emergency relief that our small business owners and workers need and deserve.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza also issued the following statement regarding the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:
“The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days. The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time. The EIDL program is also providing much-needed relief to people and businesses. By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations.
“We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks. The high demand we have seen underscores the need for hardworking Americans to have access to relief as soon as possible. We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need.”