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Appearing on Fox Business, Senator Tim Scott warned of the urgency of the unfolding economic crisis.
In a wide ranging interview with Maria Bartiromo, Senator Scott accused Pelosi of holding small businesses “hostage.”
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which ensures that small businesses are able to continue paying their employees despite the economic shutdown, has officially run out of money.
But instead of quickly replenishing the PPP, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats appear to be dragging their feet to play political games.
“People need their paychecks,” Senator Scott warned.
Unemployment has spiked to historic levels and many businesses are at the risk of collapse without additional funding.
More details on Senator Tim Scott’s message to the speaker of the House:
A portion of loans from the PPP are considered forgivable, assuming the businesses use these to protect their employees' paychecks.
In this sense, the PPP acts as a grant for small businesses struggling to survive.
Small businesses as well as the individuals they employee need the PPP replenished in order to see their next paycheck.
Fox News has more details on Senator Scott's plea to Pelosi to stop holding small businesses "hostage" during this crisis:
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., member of the White House Task Force on Reopening the Economy, called on Democratic leadership to move forward and reach an agreement with Republicans to add funding to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) while noting that certain limitations on the coronavirus stimulus plan may need to be adjusted.
Scott said that the economy, especially in his home state of South Carolina, is in a “position of devastation” due to the pandemic, and that action is needed to lift the country up as Americans hope for a recovery.
“We are in a position of devastation,” Scott said, pointing to his home state of South Carolina, where he said there has been a 4,000 percent increase in unemployment benefits since the outbreak began. He explained that the lasting impact of poverty is part of President Trump’s concern in balancing public health with economic needs as the administration addresses how life can eventually return to normal.
Scott said that he supports the PPP, which allows small businesses to stay afloat and pay their workers during the shutdown, but said Democrats need to allow additional funding for the program to go through without holding it up by requiring that additional demands be met.
“I always like to say that the Democrats who are holding this up, realize you’re not negatively impacting businesses as much as you’re negatively impacting people’s ability to pay their rent, to pay their utilities, to feed their kids. And this is a serious situation that we should not have a lapse in funding for the Triple P program. We should tell Ms. Nancy Pelosi, ‘Please give us our paychecks.’ People need their paychecks, and stop holding it hostage in order to do something else.”
Rather than approving more funding for the PPP, Democrats appear inclined to demand more partisan pork.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer appeared to admit as much when he said that "the very things we Democrats have been fighting for are now going into the bill."
States are fighting for their right to safely reopen their economies as jobless claims are rising to alarming numbers.
Pelosi claims that more funding for the PPP is close, but she has spent the last few days making multiple television appearances.
She recently appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace for an extensive interview.
Pelosi even appeared on late night television in a widely panned clip where she showed off her $20,000 refrigerator filled with food.
The Washington Examiner has more on Pelosi's claim that Congress is close to an agreement on expanding the PPP:
Funding for the program has run dry, and Congress is working this week to strike a deal to replenish it.
"People are calling every single day," Scott said. "Hundreds are calling our offices, thousands, I’m sure, throughout this nation because they want their paychecks, and we shouldn’t stand in the way of making that happen."
Pelosi said over the weekend, “Again, we have common ground,” and that she thinks Congress is "very close to agreement.”
Scott, a member of the Senate Financial Services Committee, has advocated for a more targeted approach to help small businesses get the amount they need to stay afloat while making sure as many businesses as possible get the funding they need.
More than 20 million people have filed for unemployment benefits over the last month as a result of lockdown orders put in place by almost every state in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump has expressed he is eager to reopen large swaths of the country as early as May 1.
Scott said the sooner that happens, the easier the country's economic recovery from the coronavirus will be.
"The new normal may require businesses to have higher overhead expenses and lower labor costs," Scott said. "We need to adapt to that reality, and we need to adapt very quickly."
Senator Tim Scott understanding that holding small businesses hostage will only add more devastation to the economy.
Instead of attempting to pass partisan pork, Senator Scott is urging leaders to replenish the funds for a program that was already approved by both sides.
Now is not the time to play politics.
It's time to act in the best interest of the American people.