There’s no doubt that both small businesses and workers face mounting suffering due to the COVID pandemic.
In an effort to assist ailing small businesses, the COVID response bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump provides $350 billion in aid and loans to small businesses.
That aid, however, is projected to quickly run out. Republicans have been diligently working to pass a new bill that would provide an additional $250 billion in small business aid.
Unfortunately, Democrats weren’t having it and blocked the passage of the bill.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the Democrats credited with blocking the bill, is fine with the idea of sending billions in aid to Iran while America’s small businesses go without.
Fox News reports on the Democrat senator’s concern over Iranian aid:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has urged President Trump to reverse a reported plan to block an Iranian request to the IMF for $5 billion in aid to fight the coronavirus crisis — saying it is in the U.S. national interest to accede to the request.
“I am disappointed to see reports that your administration intends to block Iran from receiving $5 billion in humanitarian aid from the IMF to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” Feinstein wrote in a letter dated Thursday to President Trump. “Providing these funds to Iran would help it respond more effectively to the disease and mitigate the risk of further destabilization in the region.”
The administration plans to block the request for an emergency loan, amid concerns that the anti-American regime still has billion-dollar accounts available to it, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Senior officials told the Journal that the loan would allow Tehran to divert the money to its economy — which has been stunted by the sanctions imposed as part of the U.S. maximum pressure campaign — or to finance extremist militant groups in the Middle East.
Iranian “officials have a long history of diverting funds allocated for humanitarian goods into their own pockets and to their terrorist proxies,” one of the administration officials told the outlet.
Iran has been one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic — sending its already shaky government reeling as it faces accusations that it has been hiding what it knew about the crisis, and how early it hit the country.
The U.S. has been turning the screws on Iran’s hardline regime for years since it left the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. The U.S. has imposed waves of sanctions on officials, the financial sector and oil exports since then as part of an effort to curb Tehran’s support for proxy terror groups, its nuclear program and its attacks on U.S. forces.
Trump said this month that Iran has been “planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq” and warned the regime would pay a “very heavy price” if they attacked U.S. assets.
But Feinstein expressed concern that Iran’s inability to control the spread of the disease could have a knock-on effect in the region as immigrants to the country flee to home countries, such as Afghanistan where there are U.S. and coalition forces.
She argued that the U.S. should make its support “contingent upon IMF oversight on how Iran spreads the funds” to assuage concerns about the money being used for other purposes.
Senator Ted Cruz quickly pointed out Feinstein’s mistake in aiding Iranians while blocking aid for Americans.
Check out his tweet:
Others jumped on the bandwagon and expressed their frustration with funds being slushed to other countries in the midst of an American crisis.
Here's the latest on Twitter:
The Daily Wire also chimed in about Feinstein's demands:
In late March, a group of Democratic lawmakers — among them Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin calling for the easing of U.S. sanctions on Iran during the coronavirus pandemic, a request that was dead on arrival. Iran has since requested $5 billion in aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In response to the Trump administration indicating that they have no intention of allowing the terror-sponsoring state to get the massive infusion of money, Sen. Feinstein sent her own letter on Thursday expressing her disappointment.
“The coronavirus has hit Iran hard, with the potential for even greater spread in the region,” the high-ranking Democratic senator tweeted Thursday along with a copy of her letter. “In the interest of international security, President Trump should support Iran’s request to the IMF for emergency funds to contain this virus.”
“I am disappointed to see reports that your administration intends to block Iran from receiving $5 billion in humanitarian aid from the IMF to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” the letter begins. “Providing these funds to Iran would help it respond more effectively to the disease and mitigate the risk of further destabilization in the region.” She goes on to urge Trump to reconsider so that the infamously tyrannical regime can receive the billions in aid from the IMF.
Feinstein’s letter was issued the same day that Senate Democrats blocked an urgent request from Sec. Mnuchin to increase the amount of cash in the emergency small business loan program recently established by Congress from $350 billion to $600 billion.
As the New York Post’s editorial board explains, instead of agreeing to the desperately needed increase in cash on Thursday, the Democrats “issued partisan demands”: “They insisted the new money include $60 billion for ‘community-based lenders’ that serve minorities, women, nonprofits and other groups. And the bill also had to OK an immediate $250 billion for cities, states, hospitals, food stamps and other needs.”