On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to the cable airwaves to talk about the latest round of federal stimulus funds to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rubio, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, appeared with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business to talk about the second round of funds in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses.
Rubio said the demand for PPP funds has continued to outpace the money allocated.
“The demand for PPP loans far exceeds the supply of dollars. I just want to be frank and honest about it. The need out there is much greater than what has been appropriated and what’s been given for it is a lot; we’re talking about almost $700 billion,” Rubio said before taking aim at how congressional Democrats handled the second round of funds, insisting they “view everything as an opportunity to get other things.”
“I heard a couple people say the other day that ‘Republicans put this in the bill, that in the bill.’ Every single word in this bill was bipartisan … But that entire law and every provision was something that had broad, bipartisan support,” Rubio said. “They knew that we would eventually hit the money cap. No one knew how fast it would be, but they knew they would. And every time that something like that comes up, they view it as an opportunity … and that’s what you saw last week. Because almost everything they got in that second round we could’ve had a week earlier.”
Rubio was also asked about reopening the economy at the state and national levels.
“Number one, as long as we don’t have immunity, meaning a vaccine, there’s going to be infections, unfortunately, and there will be hospitalization,” Rubio said. “Number two, our job here is to ensure that the infection rate is slow, so it doesn’t overwhelm our hospital systems. And third, I think everybody needs to accept that we’re not talking about going back to the way things were two months ago, back to the normal that we’re used to.
“So I think you’re going to see phased approaches in different parts,” Rubio added. “These openings are going to be with social distancing, numbers, limitations and the like. We’re going to be in this for a while, and no one has ever done this before … There is no outline or guideline for how to do this perfectly.”
Rubio also took aim the Chinese communist regime’s handling of the pandemic.
“If China had acted when those warnings were being made instead of silencing the people that were talking about it, they could’ve limited the spread. So there was no doubt that that was a deliberate decision made on their part,” Rubio said.
“The one way to hold them accountable is to do what we should be doing anyway, and that is moving the means of production to become less and less dependent upon them. What you’re going to see after this pandemic is that more and more countries are going to prioritize their healthcare manufacturing capabilities and other industries. And they’re going to clamp down on it and exports of those products in a time of crisis, when there is a shortage, or potentially as leverage,” he added. “We need to be prepared for that new world by ramping up our own capabilities and those of our own allies and partners that we can rely on. That obviously is going to be a price to pay for the Chinese Communist Party, but we have to do it for ourselves no matter what.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.