There isn't a cookie jar in the world that Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) won't stick their hands in - as the pair have insisted on adding hundreds of billions of dollars 'for their own priorities' on top of $250 billion in new emergency aid for small businesses requested by President Trump, according to the New York Times.
Trump is looking to secure congressional passage of the additional $250 billion for the recently launched small-business payroll program, for which he'll need the support of top Democrats.
Blocking his path, per usual, are Peosi and Schumer, who say they will approve Trump's request as long as $125 billion of that is diverted to 'community-based financial institutions that serve farmers, families, women, minorities and veterans.'
They say they will approve the $250 billion in assistance to small businesses, but want $125 billion of that channeled through community-based financial institutions that serve farmers, families, women, minorities and veterans.
They're also calling for an additional $100 billion for hospitals and community health centers to provide testing supplies and protective equipment like masks and gowns. They are seeking another $150 billion for state and local governments to manage the coronavirus crisis
They also want a 15 percent increase to the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food stamp benefits, a proposal that could draw GOP opposition. -New York Times
"The heartbreaking acceleration of the coronavirus crisis demands bold, urgent and ongoing action from Congress to protect Americans’ lives and livelihoods," said Pelosi and Schumer in a Wednesday joint statement. "The American people need to know that their government is there for them in their time of great need."
The new stimulus would follow a sweeping $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package after unemployment claims spiked by more than 10 million in March. One of the programs, a $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, has been plagued with technical glitches as businesses rush too tap into more than $10 million in forgivable loans in order to maintain payroll during the pandemic.
The additional $250 billion was requested by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during private calls to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - the latter of whom wants to swiftly pass the legislation through Congress this weed amid a virtual shutdown.
Meanwhile, congress is also compiling the next coronavirus rescue package.