Senate Fails to Pass $48 Billion Small Business Covid Relief Act of 2022

The $ 48 billion Covid-19 Small Business Relief Act 2022 (S-4008) has failed in the Senate.

S-4008 is said to have provided $ 48 billion to restaurants, gyms, live venues, minor league sports teams, frontier companies, exclave companies and transportation service providers.

Small business owners and leaders of small business organizations expressed disappointment.

“After enduring another year, hurting restaurants and bars across America, especially in rural communities, may not see any relief,” said Didier Trinh, Main Street Alliance’s director of policy and political impact. “The fate of these small businesses, including the property of women and people of color who were left behind, will be tied to the senators who today voted against their lifeline.”

Trinh said at least 180,000 applications for funding for restaurant revitalization have been approved, but they are pending due to lack of funding.

The Senate does not pass the COVID-19 Small Business Aid Act

S-2091 is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Act, introduced in June 2021. It was sent to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. S2091 became the main part of S4008, which calls for the replacement of the RFR and also includes funding for other small businesses.

S-4008 co-sponsors Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the bill on April 5th. It failed on May 19 through a voting procedure called Vote for Cloture. Cardin chairs the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

If a bill does not get the required 3 / 5s majority in a vote in favor of the closure, the measure is temporarily dead. A closing motion was introduced to begin the process of putting the S-4008 to a vote. To be approved for voting, the closing motion must receive a positive majority of 3 / 5s.

The vote was 52-43, with 60 votes needed to reach a 3 / 5s majority and 5 senators without a vote. If the measure had received 60 votes, the subsequent debate on the bill would have been limited to 30 hours and would have been put to the vote.

In other words, a Closing Vote is similar to “testing the waters.” When the Cloture vote did not get a majority, the senators moved to the next item on the agenda.

Why did S-4008 fail?

Opponents said the bill was not funded. About $ 5 billion in appropriate Covid-19 relief funds were about to be laid off and used to fund part of the bill. But about $ 40 billion would have been added to the nation’s deficit.

The proposed breakdown of expenditure in S4008:

  • $ 2 billion: gyms
  • $ 1/2 billion: minor league sports teams
  • $ 10 million: Border companies (affected by border closures)
  • $ 85 million: Exclave companies (located 75 miles from the US-Canada border
  • $ 2 billion: Transportation service providers
  • $ 40 billion: restaurants

When S-4008 was introduced, the proposal was nearly $ 68 billion. That dropped to $ 48 billion. You can read the full text of the bill here.

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