Democrats Eye Cold, Hard Cash In Next Stimulus Round
Laura Davison,Bloomberg•April 25, 2020118 Comments
(Bloomberg) — Democrats are considering proposing a new round of direct cash payments to U.S. households and extending a similar benefit to the smallest businesses, as they struggle to get federal loans.
Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Richard Neal, the top Democrats on Congress’s two tax committees, want to include the payments in the next round of stimulus spending that Congress is likely to take up in May.
Their effort is sure to face objections from key Republicans, such as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who say they want to put the brakes on more deficit spending. But some GOP lawmakers have complained that small local businesses are getting shut out from small business aid.
Long waits at state unemployment offices and high demand for the Paycheck Protection Program — which offers forgivable loans to small businesses that keep employees on the job — have left many people and small business owners unable to claim swift relief.
“We must look at what the most vulnerable in our country are facing by putting money into their pockets with another round of stimulus payments so they can pay for essentials,” Neal, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said on Thursday.
Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, wants to extend those cash payments to what he calls “the smallest of the small businesses.”
Wyden’s plan, and a similar proposal in the House, would give small businesses up to $75,000 as they struggle with closures and drop-offs in economic activity. Those payments would be limited to companies with $1 million or less in revenue and up to 50 employees. The p