House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday accused President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of delays that have limited the fourth coronavirus relief bill and hindered the response to the nationwide spread of COVID-19.
"We were very pleased that the Senate finally accepted the fact that we needed more money for testing, for hospitals, for smaller businesses to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program," the California Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "It took them a couple of weeks, but they finally did ... Mitch McConnell likes to say that we delayed the bill. No, he delayed the bill."
Trump, meanwhile, was not properly prepared for the '"truth of what was happening in our country," said Pelosi. She also accused him of being an "agent of distraction," due to his embrace of protesters calling for their communities to reopen and call to block immigration.
With the current bill, she added, McConnell came to the Senate floor and said that only the $250 billion to extend the paycheck program would come up for discussion. However, Democrats were united in wanting more funds for small businesses, and for expanded testing, which is vital to coming out of the pandemic, and the new legislation allocates $25 billion towards this.
The new bill, which is expected to pass in the House on Thursday, will also have money set aside for very small businesses to make it easier to participate in the paycheck program, said Pelosi, while slamming banks that made it difficult for smaller businesses to get money in the first round.
"For them to have acted as if this was their money, and it was going to their preferred customers is really a very sad thing," she said. "We have this set-aside of $60 billion which goes to the community development financial institutions ... we hope that this will accelerate the approval of loans into those communities."
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