House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, while confirming a settlement had been reached on a nearly $500 billion deal to help small businesses and expand coronavirus testing, complained Tuesday that the agreement did not have to be on hold for so long.
"We didn't have to be here," the California Republican said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "Two weeks ago we said this money was going to run out. Because remember what this is, this is to keep people employed and keep small businesses able to stay afloat while the government told them they had to shut down."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped the legislation, which adds extra money to the Paycheck Protection Program, a loan arrangement that forgives loans for small businesses that borrow money and use it to pay out-of-work employees and other costs, said McCarthy.
"Thursday, we will get the new unemployment numbers, and that will be Pelosi's unemployment," he said. "She did not have to do this. This is a program that works better than any program we've seen. We were able to move in 14 days the amount of money that the Small Business Administration has been able to move in 14 years."
He also dismissed complaints from Democrats who said huge amounts of money from the first phase of the program went to large businesses, stating that "73% of the dollars went to small businesses that had a payroll of less than $60,000."
Meanwhile, "we will go after those big companies that cheat the system but the system is only for companies that have less than 500 employees and 74% of that has done right," said McCarthy.
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