Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke out on Thursday to defend the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as a bipartisan success for COVID-19 relief after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) criticized it.

Rubio was fuming after he read Ocasio-Cortez’s attack on the PPP on Twitter.

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“Black-owned small businesses were widely shut out from accessing PPP loans, yet right-wing disinfo org PV took half a million in public money while decrying direct federal assistance as ‘radical socialism,'” she wrote. “Republicanism in a nutshell. (Also they’re based in Mamaroneck?!)”

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Rubio, however, was not having any of it.

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“Working together R’s & D’s helped save the jobs of 55 million Americans through PPP,” Rubio fired back at Ocasio-Cortez. “Work more, tweet less & one day you too can make a difference.”

Ocasio-Cortez was widely criticized back in April when she was the only Democrat to vote against a largely bipartisan $484 billion coronavirus relief bill, calling the proposal “too small,” according to Fox News.

Rubio is the chairman of the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, which is the group that developed the PPP, a “forgivable loan” program to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll during shutdowns caused by COVID-19, instead of firing them.

This comes after Rubio called on Congress to extend PPP funding beyond the initial $700 billion it received back in March with the passing of the $2.2 trillion CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

Though the House passed the follow-up HEROES Act back in October, it stalled in the Senate. This act would provide only $288 billion more for PPP instead of an additional $700 billion, which is what Rubio wants.

“It is important to note that at its current (funding) level, the proposal barely provides enough to fund a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, and does not provide sufficient funds to help small businesses, restaurants, entertainment venues, and others to help them weather the second wave,” Rubio said. “It should have happened this summer. It needed to happen this fall. Enough is enough. Let’s get this done.”

Rubio warned last month that small businesses will be “wiped out” if the PPP extension is not approved because Democrat leaders are holding out for more.

“The issue here is very simple,” Rubio said. “Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are saying, ‘You either spend $2 trillion — or something close to it — and do all of these other things, or we do nothing at all. We will not allow PPP to happen on its own.’ That’s the stance they’ve taken.”

This piece was written by James Samson on December 4, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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