GOP Rep Blasts House for Adjourning With No Discussion of Small Business Funding

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) / Getty Images
April 21, 2020

Rep. Brian Mast (R., Fla.) ripped Democratic leadership for adjourning the House of Representatives almost immediately Tuesday without allowing Republican lawmakers to speak about the need for more small business relief.

"Some of my colleagues asked to speak here, asked to be recognized, asked to talk a little bit about what's going on here, express some of the urgency that we get to work here in the House of Representatives," Mast said in a Facebook video recorded on the House floor.

"No willingness to speak about when we will come back into session. No willingness to speak about the urgency that's needed for Americans today. No willingness to speak about any debate whatsoever related to COVID-19," he added. "We had some very important parliamentary inquiries about why the House stands adjourned. They failed to recognize us here."

Despite funding for small business loans drying up last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) insisted that "businesses will have the money in a timely fashion." The timeline for the funding is unclear as negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus bill continue.

Senate Democrats voted to block emergency funding that would have saved the Paycheck Protection Program before it ran out of funds. It was originally allocated $350 billion as a cornerstone of the $2 trillion relief bill signed in March.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) also criticized Democratic leadership for being obstructionist.

"Senate Democrats just blocked urgent money for a popular, bipartisan job-saving program which they themselves literally coauthored with us two weeks ago," McConnell wrote on Twitter.

Further coronavirus funding is encountering resistance from the more extreme wing of the Democratic Party. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said she would oppose the next coronavirus stimulus bill because it did not go far enough.