As Washington fights over trillion-dollar stimulus, businesses still search for funds

As Democrats and Republicans argue over the next steps for a trillion-dollar stimulus, some small business owners say they haven’t seen any help yet.

The historic $2.2 trillion dollar stimulus package, or CARES Act, was passed quickly to help Americans hitting tough times due to the coronavirus and stay-at-home owners. Trump administration officials now want Congress to give an additional $251 billion before funding runs out.

Kevin Clark says he’s worried his Atlanta restaurant could go under without help.

“We may lose our business, I mean that’s the worst part, but, I mean we could,” Clark said.

Clark tried to tap into one part of the stimulus package, the payroll protection program for small business owners to get loans, but said he had no luck.

“The money is getting out there, but who?” Clark said. “I would love to talk to a business owner who’s actually received some funds.”

The program has seen criticism as it was rolled out. Democrats want more provisions on who can get loans, and more money for food stamps, state and local governments and hospitals.

“They had one example in the New York hospital when they were supposed to get their gowns to cover themselves, they were given a rain poncho from a Yankee’s game. That’s how diminished the supply is,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “And yet when we hear talking to administration it’s like everyone has what they need and if they don’t, that is their problem. No, we have a national responsibility.”

But Republicans are arguing for a clean funding increase only for the small business program.

“We have committed to small businesses and we should top up that program now,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Lawmakers aren’t expected back in Washington until May 4.

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