GOP’s coronavirus bill offers billions in government loans – but bans nonprofits likely catering to low-income people
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Senate Democrats and Republicans are locked in a battle over the latest coronavirus economic rescue package, but what each party is fighting for reveals what is at the center of their universes.


Democrats are focused on getting money into the hands of the poor and those displaced by "stay at home," "shelter in place," and other work stoppages vital to helping halt the pandemic.

Republicans are focused on bailouts and secret slush funds for their corporate BFFs.

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, now an NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst, makes clear what the GOP's motivation is – and goes so far as to call it "graft."

And now we learn the GOP is once again waging war against the poor during a time that their lives are hardest hit. And they're serving two of their masters by using their coronavirus package to wage a culture war as well.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent writes there's a "hidden" provision "in the massive stimulus bill, which was drafted by Senate Republicans."

The GOP bill offers $350 billion in small business loans to businesses if they don't lay off their workers.

But there's a catch.

Those loans exclude “nonprofits receiving Medicaid expenditures.” In other words, organizations like Planned Parenthood.

If that weren't bad enough (it is – Planned Parenthood is vital now more than ever) it goes further than that, as Sargent reveals.

"Democratic aides believe this language would exclude from eligibility for this funding a big range of other nonprofits that get Medicaid funding, such as home and community-based disability providers; community-based nursing homes, mental health providers and health centers; group homes for the disabled; and even rape crisis centers."

The legislation, if passed as is, could harm tens of millions of people, according to Mara Youdelman, the managing attorney of the National Health Law Program’s D.C. office.

“We should be doing everything possible to keep them in businesses, both to help manage the pandemic and to keep people needing routine care healthy and out of overwhelmed hospitals,” Youdelman told Sargent.