Pelosi: lawmakers close to agreement on small business assistance

Earlier, President Trump called for an increase in appropriations for lending to small businesses by $250 billion.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said that, in her opinion, lawmakers are very close to reaching an agreement on allocating additional funds to help small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The agreement will help break the more than a week-long impasse over President Donald Trump’s request to increase funding for the small business lending program by $ 250 billion. The program was developed by Congress in March as part of a $ 2.3 trillion anti-crisis plan, but it almost ran out of money.

“I think we are very close to reaching an agreement,” Pelosi said in an interview on ABC.

Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said they are in favor of allocating additional funds to small businesses, but also want to increase allocations to States, municipalities, and hospitals to fight coronavirus and food aid to the poor.

“We want to do everything to help reach all American small businesses. But we also want to make sure that it works in a society where our police and firefighters, our medical professionals, doctors, nurses, teachers are compensated, not fired, ” Pelosi said. – That’s why we are asking for additional funding in this package, including for hospitals, so that we can test, test, test.”

Governors of states severely affected by the pandemic, such as New York and New Jersey, have said they need more Federal funding to significantly increase the scale of testing.

Republicans have criticized lawmakers, Democrats from swing districts since the anti-crisis funds loans to small businesses dried up. Last week some of these Democrats said that their leaders in Congress must give priority attention to funding of small businesses and to restore the flow of funds.

Pelosi, however, said money for hospitals, teachers, and firefighters could be provided in the government’s interim spending bill. Congress plans to pass another major bill on financial assistance for coronavirus after the Fund for small businesses is replenished.

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