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Providing for Consideration of H.R. National Apprenticeship Act of 2020

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 19, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, the gentleman from New York suggested that we, on this side of the aisle, should talk to the President of the United States about what he has or hasn't done.

Well, he is all the way down on Pennsylvania Avenue. I would suggest the gentleman from New York might want to talk to a lady, probably in this very building right now, and that is the Speaker, who can bring up a second round of PPP loans. We have got the votes.

Republicans and Democrats both agree we ought to do this, but she wouldn't bring it up for a vote. So we tried to go through the discharge petition process. And no Democrat in this House would sign it and let us have a vote. So we are trying again, because a lot of small businesses really need this.

Madam Speaker, an important holiday is coming up. Next Saturday is Small Business Saturday. It is the day when we take time to support the restaurants and shops and other small businesses that create two out of every three new jobs in America. Normally, this is an occasion to eat a delicious meal, get a head start on Christmas shopping, and say hello to friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, this year, an awful lot of those small businesses are struggling due to COVID-19.

A recent NFIB survey indicated that over half of small businessowners expect to seek additional financial assistance over the next year. If they can't access that help, they may be forced to lay off employees again or cease operations. That is just unacceptable, because we can help them.

We have a program that has already supported over 50 million jobs all across this country. It even has over $130 billion ready to go. We already have the money. We don't have to appropriate additional dollars at all. The money is there. That program, the PPP, or Paycheck Protection Program, stopped accepting applications back in August.

Instead of quickly passing a bill to reopen the program, the Democratic leadership in this House used it as a political football for over 3 months while small businessowners had to drain the last of their funds to stay in existence and to continue to pay their employees, and they nervously continued to worry about how they are going to make payroll.

Madam Speaker, today, we have a chance to do the right thing and do right by these small businesses. They are, after all, the heartbeat of each and every one of our communities.

Madam Speaker, if we defeat the previous question, which is before us now, we can move directly to the legislative package that includes the bill that I just mentioned, my bill, the PPP, again, to reopen and improve the Paycheck Protection Program.

Madam Speaker, let's defeat this previous question and send aid to those small businesses all across the country who desperately need it. I can think of no better way to celebrate Small Business Saturday.