WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wants to give small businesses hope as the global coronavirus pandemic creates a difficult time for them.
“I think there is broad general agreement that small businesses in this country will not be able to survive unless there is extraordinary assistance,” Sen. Rubio (R-FL) said.
The idea is to get money to these businesses as quickly as possible to meet payroll and operating costs for the next six weeks of the coronavirus crisis.
“I am not looking to send people a government check, I am looking to keep their paychecks coming,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said.
Senators like Graham are on board with Rubio’s plan that would help banks lend small businesses the money they need to survive.
“My number one job, I see it, is to be able to tell people in South Carolina who are out of work because of the virus that you’re not gonna lose your paycheck,” Graham said Wednesday.
The bill is literally still being written as senators try to develop the third phase of the coronavirus response on Capitol Hill.
“Everything is on the table right now,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) said Wednesday.
The Democratic Alabama senator said Congress is working to help all businesses get through this uncertain time.
“We gotta do these things to stabilize this economy,” Jones said.
Jones said lawmakers are looking at everything from unemployment compensation to Small Business Administration loans and loan forgiveness.
“I wanna go big. I’d much rather go big right now and spend the money – whether it’s a trillion or two trillion dollars. That’s a lot of money and we got deficits but I don’t think we can worry about those right now.”
Rubio hopes to get the bill finalized Thursday morning with a vote as early as this weekend.