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VIDEO: Endangered Maine senator calls for focusing coronavirus relief on small businesses

With relief fund down to $130 billion, Republican Sen. Susan Collins calls for triage to help mom-and-pops.

Employers with more than 300 employees might get kicked out of the Paycheck Protection Program, if one senator succeeds.

During debate on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called for decreasing the maximum number of people that businesses eligible for federal pandemic assistance can employ from 500 to 300, with a special provision for seasonal employers.

Collins said the move would help the government stretch the remaining $130 billion in the federal Paycheck Protection Program, passed as part of a broader $2 trillion economic relief package in March.

In a letter sent Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, called for bipartisan and bicameral negotiations ahead of the Senate’s two-week recess beginning July 3.

Cases of COVID-19 have surged in recent days, particularly in Texas, California and Florida, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID Data Tracker.

(Edited by Allison Elyse Gualtieri)

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