Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday he wasn’t surprised “at all” by the news that 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, and he expects next week’s announcement to contain numbers that are “just as high because of the delays in passing the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill.
“We should have been passing this legislation on Monday, not on Wednesday night at 11:30 (p.m) and now tomorrow, Friday in the House of Representatives,” the Iowa Republican said on CNBC. “The government has shut down businesses, the governments federal, state, and local. It’s through no fault of those employees or the small businesses that had to lay them off.”
Banks are ready to go on the small business loans “very, very quickly,” he added. “Those are forgivable loans if they keep the people on the payroll. So it’s going to take a long time to turn this around but this is really going to help do it.”
Grassley said he hasn’t heard as much from small businesses as he would have thought, but he thinks that’s because people are “just shocked.”
“There’s a lot of anxiety out there,” he said. “I hope this bill helps reduce that anxiety, (and) helps people over this hump that’s no fault of their own.”
He pointed out that a month ago the United States thought it had the “strongest economy ever and it was going to keep going forever.”
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