Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), issued the following statement regarding the urgent need to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program portion of the CARES Act:
"An historic avalanche of layoffs is crushing American families. But yesterday, Leader Schumer and Senate Democrats blocked a clean funding increase for the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that has already saved millions of jobs and may be depleted in just a few days.
"Republicans did not ask to change any of the policy details that were negotiated by both parties and passed unanimously. All we want to do is put more money into a popular job-saving policy which both parties designed together.
"Yesterday, Senate Democrats blocked this funding because Republicans would not open a sweeping renegotiation of the bipartisan CARES Act. Their unrelated demands included hundreds of billions of extra dollars for parts of the legislation which are still coming online and have not yet spent a single dollar.
"Speaker Pelosi said yesterday she was aware of "no data as to why we need" more funding for Americans' paychecks. Anyone paying attention knows differently. The Administration reports the PPP has already burned through nearly half of its initial funding in just its first week. Yesterday, we learned that a staggering 10% of the entire American workforce has filed for unemployment in less than a month. This morning, we learned that small-business layoffs spiked by 1,000% last month alone.
"American workers are in crisis. Nobody except Washington Democrats seem to be unclear on this fact or confused about the urgency.
"Republicans reject Democrats' reckless threat to continue blocking this job-saving funding unless we renegotiate unrelated programs which are not in similar peril. This will not be Congress's last word on COVID-19, but this crucial program needs funding now. American workers cannot be used as political hostages.
"We will continue to seek a clean PPP funding increase. We hope our Democratic colleagues familiarize themselves with the facts and the data before the program exhausts its funding."