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DC is Horse Trading With Our Lives

I hope that by time you read this, Congress will have extended the Payroll Protection Program.  Regardless, the PPP debacle is more proof that Congressional leadership needs to ride off into the sunset. 

Last week, with the futures of tens of thousands of small companies and millions of their employees hanging in the balance, Congress failed to add funding to the PPP — even though 100% of the Senators in both parties support this vital program.  Horse hockey! 

Throughout our nation’s history, leaders in Washington have put aside personal/political conflicts and risen to the occasion when faced with grave national crises.  In 2020, here’s how it works: 

  1. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell disrespected the minority leader, our Senator Charles Schumer, by advancing a bill to top off the inadequate PPP funding without consulting the Democratic leadership.  
  1. In response, Schumer –in consultation with his House ally Nancy Pelosi– decided to do some horse trading.  No vote on PPP unless the Democrats can score some political wins. That’s right; they used the PPP program and millions of Americans as bargaining chips.   
  1. Republicans felt they had the high ground and attacked all over cable news. 
  1. With the battle lines publicly drawn, neither side would back down – even when the clock ran out on April 16.   

This is how our “leaders” act in time of national crisis.   

Meanwhile, small companies are on the brink. These companies employ almost half the American workforce but most have less than four weeks of reserves.  This past Monday was the 29th day of shutdown for New York companies.  Oh, and Governor Cuomo just extended business closings for four more weeks.   

I am not challenging the Governor’s decision but the math is daunting.  Even when Congress does act, it will take weeks for the money to reach small businesses. More layoffs and business closures are inevitable.  Lives and livelihoods will be ruined.   

Real people are being hurt and our “leaders” in DC are treating them as pawns in a petty power struggle.  Our country, our citizens deserve better.  

Paul King