2020 Election

Biden Adviser Blames Trump for Small Business Loans Drying Up

Program ran out of funds last week as Senate Dems blocked cash infusion

Symone D. Sanders/ Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign adviser Symone Sanders on Monday blamed the Trump administration for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) running out of funds after Democrats blocked additional funding.

"Let's talk about how unacceptable it is that this administration has run out of money for small business loans," Sanders wrote on Twitter. "It is the president and his administration's job to make sure all Americans are taken care of during this time. Leadership starts at the TOP."

Congress, not the president, controls appropriations legislation. Senate Democrats on April 9 blocked a bill, supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), that would have allocated $250 billion more in PPP funding. The Trump administration had requested the additional funds.

McConnell wrote that day on Twitter that the Democrats refused to support the bill, even though the funds were immediately needed to protect American jobs.

"Senate Democrats just blocked urgent money for a popular, bipartisan job-saving program which they themselves literally coauthored with us two weeks ago," McConnell said. "I complimented both sides and asked to increase the dollar amount without changing anything else. But they blocked it."

Up to half of small businesses could permanently close if the national shutdown lasts longer than four months. PPP is intended to keep those businesses afloat by offering loans which are forgivable if used to keep paying employees.

The number of people filing for unemployment has reached unprecedented levels as a result of widespread shutdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Democrats and Republicans have both affirmed the need for more PPP money during the crisis, but negotiations for a bipartisan bill have yet to produce an agreement. Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Tina Smith (Minn.) have called on Democrats to fund the program without delay.