The dark logic of the GOP's latest coronavirus aid strategy

Republicans will make the coronavirus economic crisis worse — and Democrats aren't doing much to stop them

A city hall.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Less than two weeks ago, it seemed like a bipartisan deal for a second round of aid to America's coronavirus-ravaged economy would come pretty easily. Fast forward to the last few days, and that optimism has been proven naive. A bill will be passed alright, but it will be woefully inadequate. And the cause seems to be a combination of Democratic cowardice and Republican blinkeredness — if not outright mendacity.

The big headline concern here is more money for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) — a forgivable loan program created in Congress' first big rescue bill to help businesses with fewer than 500 employees stay afloat and keep people on payroll. The program burned through the $350 billion Congress allocated in a matter of weeks, and now legislators and the White House are closing in on an agreement to give the PPP another $310 billion.

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