Amid a surge in demand for the first tranche, the US Treasury is preparing to ask Congress for a further $200 billion for the small business lending program, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
This would increase the total size of the so-called Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to $550 billion.
As WaPo notes, Banks and the Small Business Administration have been overwhelmed by applications since the program began operating on Friday, leading President Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) - who authored the program - and others to predict the need for more funds.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he would work with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.):
"Congress needs to act with speed and total focus to provide more money for this uncontroversial bipartisan program. I will work with Secretary Mnuchin and Leader Schumer and hope to approve further funding for the Paycheck Protection Program by unanimous consent or voice vote during the next scheduled Senate session on Thursday," McConnell said in a statement.
The fact that Treasury would make the request on just the third day of the program's existence underscores the surging demand for businesses to obtain financing as many of them struggle to avoid closing.
Helicopter money is truly here...