Nancy Pelosi, GOP leader Kevin McCarthy deadlocked on small-business bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy remain at odds over the next round of stimulus spending, with her demanding more cash for hospitals and state governments, while he wants a clean passage of the $250 billion Paycheck Protection Program.

The pair traded barbs at press conferences Thursday, with Pelosi (D-Calif.) asserting that front-line medical workers need more help.

“The hospitals, state and local governments are on the front lines of this crisis. They’re running out — have been running out of money and desperately need emergency infusion of additional funds to care for patients and prevent greater spread and death,” she said.

“They also need the PPE, the personal protective equipment, in order to protect themselves, to save their lives, as they save other lives.”

She said Democrats backed the second phase of the PPP after the initial money ran out, but wanted another $250 million for other priorities added on.

McCarthy (R-Calif.) ripped the speaker’s demands, citing soaring unemployment caused by the coronavirus crisis and the need to get money to those who are out of a job.

“I cannot understand after watching another 5 million get unemployed how Speaker Pelosi continues to say no,” McCarthy said in a press call with reporters, Fox News reported.

Republicans said other priorities could be funded in the weeks ahead, but the small-business loan program required immediate action.

Asked by a reporter about just giving Pelosi a fig leaf for the additional $250 million to get the business program replenished, McCarthy scoffed: “The question should really be to Nancy Pelosi. Can’t you give a fig leaf to America and just say, yes.”

The deadlock apparently means there will be no vote in the House anytime soon, as the program runs out of cash.

“The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding,” the Small Business Administration said Thursday. “Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time.”

The GOP effort had already failed in the Senate last week as Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded the additional $250 million to help hospitals and state and local governments and include changes to the small-business program to help disadvantaged and minority-owned businesses and others left out.

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