The demands, reiterated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, will likely further prolong a stalemate between lawmakers over what was intended to be an interim emergency package ahead of another broader, stimulus package.
On Monday, during a brief procedural session in the Senate, lawmakers did not attempt to approve the administration’s request for an additional $250 billion for the loan program, which would have required unanimous approval from all 100 senators without the full chamber present.
Democrats on Thursday blocked such a maneuver to infuse $250 billion into the loan program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, without the inclusion of additional funds as well as conditions to ensure the loan money is distributed fairly to small businesses. But Republicans, led by Mr. Trump, have said that they would prefer to negotiate any additional funds and changes to the program in future legislation.
“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,” the two leaders said in a joint statement.
The congressional standoff comes as administration officials warn that the loan program, created as part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law last month, will soon run out of funds, even as businesses say they have yet to receive a majority of the billions slated. The National Governors Association on Saturday also called on Congress to allocate an additional $500 billion to states and governments to help offset state revenue shortfalls, more than double what Democrats initially demanded.
Their Republican counterparts, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, declared during the weekend that they rejected Democrats’ “reckless threat to continue blocking job-saving funding unless we renegotiate unrelated programs which are not in similar peril” and would continue to push for stand-alone funding for small businesses.
The call for increased local aid is a less partisan issue at the state level.
“In the absence of unrestricted fiscal support of at least $500 billion from the federal government, states will have to confront the prospect of significant reductions to critically important services all across this country, hampering public health, the economic recovery, and — in turn — our collective effort to get people back to work,” the governors association’s chairman, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, said in a statement with its vice chairman, Governor Cuomo of New York, a Democrat.