McConnell vows 'historic injection' of aid to save small businesses in face of coronavirus

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., vowed Wednesday that the Senate will not rest until it passes legislation to help Americans facing the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak, vowing a “historic injection of liquidity” to boost the economy.

McConnell said that while the Senate will pass the House’s latest bill, they still need to pass additional legislation to help small businesses, which he said are left vulnerable even under the House bill.

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“Everyone agrees that workers need relief. Republicans are working on bold solutions to help individuals and families as we speak, but small businesses need relief as well,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.

The Kentucky Republican cited restrictions that his home state will be imposing that include the forced closures of bars and restaurants, similar to what is already taking place in New York City and elsewhere.

“Nobody expects main street small businesses of any sort to hold the kind of cash buffer they would need to remain in business and wait out a national economic disruption that could last for weeks or months,” McConnell said.

“They need help. They need a lifeline.”

That lifeline, McConnell explained, will be in the form of a “historic injection of liquidity and access to credit,” and “Washington working directly with the lenders who already work with these small businesses to minimize the new bureaucracy so the assistance can flow as fast as possible.”

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McConnell reiterated that the Senate will pass the House bill and that its “imperfections will just make our more comprehensive package even more urgent.”

He promised that he and his fellow senators will keep working until it gets done.

“The Senate is not going to leave small business behind,” he said.

But the aid to small businesses is “just one component” of the Senate’s work, McConnell said, adding that senators are currently looking at “the best pathway to put money directly in the hands of the American people.”

Sending checks directly to Americans is a concept that currently enjoys bipartisan support from figures including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, as well as the White House.

McConnell also discussed “targeted relief” for “key industries that are shouldering an outsized burden from the public health directives.”

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The Republican leader also praised individual Americans for taking action as they wait for Congress to assist them, describing how some grocery stores are dedicating early hours specifically to senior citizens so those at risk can avoid crowds, and parents at home are volunteering to help with child care.

“This is what makes the United States of America what it is, and it is what we are today,” he said. “Generosity, friendship, resolve, and strength. This is not a challenge anyone wanted for our nation, but it is a challenge we will overcome.”