Pelosi, Schumer insist on SNAP increase in next coronavirus bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a joint statement today that the next coronavirus aid bill must include more help for people through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
In a joint statement, Pelosi and Schumer said that ”strong additional support for hungry families and children relying on SNAP is needed. We cannot abandon those who are facing a life-and-death struggle to put food on the table.”
Pelosi and Schumer did not go into details, but anti-hunger advocates have called for a 15% increase in SNAP benefit levels, an increase in the minimum SNAP benefit level from $16 to $30, and a freeze on implementation of any new Trump administration rules that would restrict access to the program.
Pelosi and Schumer also called for more aid for small businesses, hospitals, frontline workers and state and local governments.
They said there need to be changes to the Small Business Administration’s business assistance plan because “many eligible small businesses continue to be excluded from the Paycheck Protection Program by big banks with significant lending capacity.”
They added, “Funding for COVID-19 SBA disaster loans and grants must be significantly increased to satisfy the hundreds of billions in oversubscribed demand.”
Last week the National Restaurant Association called for changes to the PPP because it was not working for many of its members that are in danger of closure.
Pelosi and Schumer did not mention the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, but there is a bipartisan effort underway to tell SBA that Congress’s intent was to include farmers in that program. Traditionally farmers have not been eligible for SBA disaster programs, and SBA has excluded them from EIDL.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have said the next bill should be limited to providing more money for the PPP, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he is willing to negotiate with Republicans and Democrats.
Pelosi and Schumer said today, “We have real problems facing this country, and it’s time for the Republicans to quit the political posturing by proposing bills they know will not pass either chamber and get serious and work with us towards a solution.”
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