Schumer Remarks After Senate Dems Secure Senate-Passage Of Legislation To Extend PPP Program Through August 8

June 30, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor shortly after Senate Democrats successfully pushed through legislation that would extend the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8th. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

And let me salute Senator Cardin and Senator Shaheen for bringing this measure to the floor and forcing our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to relent, who originally, of course, wanted to block this bill all day long. Now, it's going to benefit two groups of people.

The first, very simply, are those businesses whose businesses has gone bad in the last few months. When this proposal was passed, plain and simple, the economy everyone thought might get better sooner. It hasn't. And there are large numbers of businesses who are going to need to apply now. Had this program run out today, they would have been out of luck. Now with this renewal, short time, August 8, they at least get the chance to reapply.

But there’s a second group. This program was rolled out very poorly by the administration. We all know that. We had to come back and fix it twice. There are many businesses in New York and elsewhere who applied initially and were rejected, or who went to their bank and their bank said no because this program was not aimed at helping the smaller businesses by the administration as they rolled it out.

The guidance that was supposed to be issued, all the other things that happened didn't happen. There are many businesses who were rejected the first time, and I’ve talked to many in New York in the last few weeks. Can I apply again?

Now that it's been straightened out because of the good work that Cardin and Shaheen and we did, forcing the Republicans to help small businesses. They wanted to just renew the PPP program. We said no. We said no. We got a much better bill. These businesses can now apply again with the new guidelines that were passed in COVID-3.5.

Ad that is a very good thing. And I would recommend to our small businesses who have been rejected, reapply because you might—it might be available to you again.

But let me say: this shouldn't have happened. Our Republican colleagues have been missing in action on COVID throughout.

On small business, on unemployment insurance, on aid to localities, on so many other issues. The only reason we're here tonight is we, Democrats, said we're going to force you to come here with a unanimous consent statement. Now, let us hope—there is always hope here—that this will repeat itself, that our Republican colleagues will see that they are sticking their heads in the ground, following Leader McConnell who says, well, we'll have to assess the situation.

I guess tonight we're not assessing the situation, but thank god we're acting. That we will move forward on issue after issue after issue.

We have many more UC's this week. The needs to pass those UC's is every bit as pressing as the need to move this UC.

Maybe they will relent again, and maybe they’ll come back and say we need to negotiate. Speaker Pelosi and I have asked Leader McConnell to sit down and negotiate now.

Nope, no way. No negotiation. We have had to push our Republican friends to help small business, to help the unemployed, to help those who rent—so many other people—to help states and localities. They didn't want to do any of it. But tonight might be a metaphor for what's going to happen in the future as we move to the HEROES Act.

Our Republican friends, pressured by the very people in their own states who desperately need help, will have to say yes, we agree with you.

But I have to say, this happened tonight, not because of bipartisan action—as much as I like to see bipartisan action in this body. It happened because Democrats said we're going to go to the floor and demand a UC.

Until the last minute, our Republican friends said we're going to block it for one reason or another. Thank god they didn't. They deserve praise for not doing it. But let's make no mistake about it, this is not the end. This is the beginning.

We have a lot more to do for small business and for many other parts of our economy and our health care system that are struggling and suffering. They need action. We need bipartisanship like we saw tonight in these areas as well.