House Republicans will try to force vote to restart small business loan program

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House Republicans will attempt to quickly force a vote on a bill to replenish a key coronavirus small business aid program, according to congressional aides. The GOP lawmakers on Wednesday will unveil a two-part proposal designed to restart the Paycheck Protection Program. Reps. Steve Chabot of Ohio and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington plan to introduce proposals to reopen applications for the $138 billion that remains unspent from the small business loan program, along with a so-called discharge petition to force a vote on the bill. Under the legislation, companies could apply for a second loan if they have fewer than 300 employees and have seen revenue decline by 25%. The GOP is expected to be able to start gathering signatures on the petition next Friday, and would need 218 to move toward a vote. If all 198 Republicans support the move, the party would need 20 Democrats to join. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has repeatedly said the chamber will only take up a comprehensive coronavirus relief package. Democratic leaders have previously rejected efforts to renew standalone relief policies such as unemployment insurance as they push for legislation that would cost at least $2.2 trillion. The Republican maneuver underscores the growing agitation among members of both …

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