Congressional leaders appear close to a deal on an interim coronavirus relief package designed to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP.)
The Hill reports that a basic framework of the package includes another $300 billion for the PPP to help small businesses pay their employees, $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for coronavirus testing, and $50 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
However, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Monday responded to the reported framework of the bill, “We have not seen the final text of this bill. But what I can say is that if it matches up with what has been reported, I will not support this bill, personally.”
She explained, “It is insulting to think we can pass such a small amount of money in the context of not knowing when Congress is even going to reconvene and pass such a small amount of money, pat ourselves on the back and then leave town again. I am not here to support that.”
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She noted that New York City has seen more deaths than occurred in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“I’m not here with the luxury of time, I need legislation that is going to save people’s lives,” she added.
Earlier on Monday, Ocasio-Cortez called for recurring $2,000 a month payments to help people struggling because of the virus.
Republican lawmakers were looking for a bill that would just replenish the PPP which ran out of funs last week. However, Democratic lawmakers pushed for funding for hospitals, testing, and state and local governments as part of an interim bill.
The Senate is expected to try to pass the interim bill by unanimous consent, while House members are expected to return to the capital for a recorded vote on the bill.
Congressional Democrats are also eyeing a larger coronavirus relief bill, which would provide another round of checks to Americans, further expand unemployment insurance, and provide more assistance to small businesses.