The Washington Post published a blisteringly biased assessment of the partisan battle over funding for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that is currently underway on Capitol Hill. Right on cue, WaPo did damage control for Democrats in both chambers, who have spent the last two weeks blocking additional funding for PPP, even as the program completely exhausted the original funds.
White House, GOP face heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run small business program dry.— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 20, 2020
With the program out of money, backlash prompts executives at Shake Shack to return $10 million loan. https://t.co/ZNiFqUB2eX
As with any subsidy program of its stature, PPP ran into logistical and executional issues, as WaPo notes, with some businesses seeing barriers to entry for receiving loans and funds being distributed to non-small businesses. However, the tangible relief given to numerous small businesses that are suffering economic distress certainly outweighs the kinks in the rollout of the program.
What Wapo really gets wrong, though, is the blame for the program running out of the originally legislated $350 billion. For Wapo to claim that the Senate GOP majority and the Trump Administration are responsible for PPP exhausting its funds is not only irresponsible, but also simply out of touch with everything that has happened on Capitol Hill the past couple of weeks.
As the Small Business Administration and Secretary Mnuchin signaled that the program would soon run out of money, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed a clean, no-strings-attached bill to simply add more funding to the program, in the amount of $250 billion. As unemployment numbers continued to climb, Leader McConnell and the GOP majority aimed to prioritize small business relief, as the program was clearly effective.
Rather than putting partisan interests aside, Senate Democrats blocked the GOP bill, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) support was contingent on the inclusion of Democrats’ ideological wish-list, which was completely unrelated to small business relief funding. As a result, PPP’s funds ran dry and Americans in the small business sector suffered even more, but Wapo gave Democrats a pass:
Second - the premise is that hotels and restaurant chains ran the fund dry. Set aside basic understanding of franchise models or how they calculate that employees of some entities as less deserving than others, later in the story they let this slip: pic.twitter.com/MQ3OztJGdg— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) April 21, 2020
In the most audacious fake news of all, they’ve positioned Chuck Schumer and Senate Ds as the folks who are trying to get PPP funded. The story does not mention those very people have spent the last 10 actively BLOCKING GOP efforts to fund the program while it ran dry.— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) April 21, 2020
This framing is worse than gaslighting you'd expect from Think Progress or Media Matters - and they're paid propagandists.— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) April 21, 2020
If Democrats aren't "taking heat" after unilaterally blocking small business paychecks, it's only because they're given a pass with coverage like this. https://t.co/asvzO9uZt1
Imagine what the headline would have been if the GOP Senate majority torpedoed relief funding for small businesses, for the sake of a partisan agenda.
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