Democrats eye cold, hard cash in next stimulus round

“We must look at what the most vulnerable in our country are facing by putting money into their pockets with another round of stimulus payments so they can pay for essentials,” Neal, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said on Thursday.

Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, wants to extend those cash payments to what he calls “the smallest of the small businesses.”

Wyden’s plan, and a similar proposal in the House, would give small businesses up to $75,000 as they struggle with closures and drop-offs in economic activity. Those payments would be limited to companies with $1 million or less in revenue and up to 50 employees. The payment would be capped at 30% of the business’s gross receipts.

That’s aimed and addressing a key criticism of the Paycheck Protection Program — that the smallest businesses aren’t able to claim the loans because banks are giving priority to larger eligible companies that have existing relationships with those institutions and generate larger fees.