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CNN spreads the blame around as Democrats block Senate effort to pour more cash into small business relief program

CNN spreads the blame around as Democrats block Senate effort to pour more cash into small business relief program
A Senate bill to add $251 billion to the emergency small business coronavirus stimulus program met with opposition from Democrats, who tried to tack on their own agenda – but CNN did its best to cover for its political “team.”

A White House-backed measure to add a quarter of a trillion dollars to the small-business bailout passed last month as part of a massive coronavirus stimulus bill aimed at getting the US economy back on its feet ran aground in the Senate on Thursday, after Democrats dug their feet in to demand an additional $250 billion for hospitals and local governments, plus a 15 percent boost to the food stamp program.

After initially reporting what happened – “Democrats block GOP-led funding boost for small business aid program” – CNN quietly massaged its headline to spread the blame around. “Senate at stalemate over more Covid-19 aid after Republicans and Democrats block competing proposals,” read the revised headline an hour later.

Except the proposals weren’t exactly equal. The initial funding boost put forward by Republicans was merely a measure to add $251 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, the small business loan plan that passed last month as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus bailout with unanimous, bipartisan support in Congress.

The Democrats’ move to weigh down the program expansion with a host of unrelated line items mirrored their brief derailment of negotiations over the original bailout bill. That move saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barge in on a proposal that already had bipartisan support in the Senate and tack on hundreds of pages of unrelated Democratic wish-list items, forcing all parties back to the negotiating table and losing critical time during which American businesses were hemorrhaging money.

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Republicans were not pleased with the repeat of that strategy. “My colleagues must not treat working Americans like political hostages,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the chamber, insisting that the Democrats’ requests could be considered in another bill. But the small business loan program – which launched last week with $350 billion to dole out, and which has been flooded with applications despite a rocky start – could run out of money without an immediate cash infusion, he warned. “We need more funding and we need it fast.”

All of these requests are urgent,” Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen countered. However, Republicans have made it clear they are not against increasing aid to hospitals or even local governments – they just want that aid negotiated separately from the small business program.

Conservatives took to social media to mock CNN’s blatant partisanship.

Others pointed out that while CNN was certainly not the only biased mainstream media outlet, it added insult to injury by pretending to be neutral.

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