Senator Ernst.

The federal program providing emergency loans to small businesses has run out of money.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst supports providing the program an additional $250 billion in federal funds.

“As of Tuesday, there were more than 22,000 loans that had been approved with small businesses receiving $3.5 billion so far,” Ernst said earlier today, “and that’s just the state of Iowa.”

Senate Democrats say they support putting another quarter of a trillion dollars in the small business loan program, but they’re asking for more money for hospitals as well as states and local governments hit with pandemic-related expenses. Republicans like Ernst say a discussion about that assistance can wait and the senate needs to quickly pass a simple bill that just provides more money for small businesses.

“No political gimmicks, just a simple ask to put more money in this program,” Ernst said. “Unfortunately, politics got in the way.”

Congress originally approved $350 billion for what’s called the “Paycheck Protection Program” since the small business loans will be forgiven if 75% of the loan is used to pay workers. The $350 billion ran out today.

Also today, Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann blasted a pro-Democratic group for running an ad that criticizes Ernst. The ad features a doctor who’s the spouse of a former Iowa Democratic Party leader. Ernst is seeking reelection in 2020.

(Photo courtesy of Senator Ernt’s office)