CNN’s Jake Tapper declined to ask Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday’s State of the Union about her role in delaying the extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for half a month. Instead, he asked her whether she had made too many concessions to Republicans.
President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27, providing $350 billion for the PPP, which rewards small businesses for maintaining employees on the payroll by giving them loans.
The fund was so popular that by April 7, the administration sent a letter to Congress requesting additional funding for the program. Republicans wanted a “clean” funding bill, but Democrats in both the Senate and the House blocked it. They demanded additional funding for other priorities — some of which Republicans were willing to consider in a later bill.
The House finally passed the new PPP bill on Thursday — after a 16-day delay.
As Breitbart News reported: “The legislation contains $321 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides aid to small businesses. The legislation also includes $60 billion in loans and grants for economic disaster assistance, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.”
Throughout, the media barely questioned Pelosi’s actions at all. In an interview on The Late Late Show, Pelosi even showed off her stash of gourmet ice cream — while she made desperate small businesses wait.
Tapper did not ask her whether the delay was justified; instead, he asked whether it was time to allow the House to vote remotely, and whether Democrats made too many concessions, particularly on the issue of providing additional funding for states like New York, which he called a “major concession.”
Pelosi pushed back, saying that Democrats “wanted to include more people … and the hospitals,” and that her party would add more state and local funding in a second CARES Act.
Tapper asked Pelosi whether she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had made a “tactical mistake” by agreeing to a compromise, given that Republicans might not back Democrats’ proposals in a “CARES II.”
“Just calm down,” Pelosi replied.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Pelosi about the delay last Sunday — albeit indirectly, as he did not mention “PPP” explicitly.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.