Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin touts the success of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and says he is "making a lot of progress" towards coming to a deal to add $300 billion in funding for small business disaster loans.
"We had the program up and running in a week, which was unprecedented. It's impacted now over 30 million Americans," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" Sunday morning. "We're incredibly pleased with the participation rate. And because of that, we want Congress to approve more funds right away. We think that another $300 billion -- that's what we're talking about -- should be sufficient to reach almost everybody."
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: It's been 72 hours now since the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program ran out of funds for emergency small business loans, having gone through some $349 billion. Democrats say they want to make sure the next tranche of money goes to underserved small businesses and mom-and-pop shops, as opposed to big chains, such as Ruth's Chris Steak House and Potbelly.
Are you going to try to fix that? Where are you in negotiations?
STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Well, Jake, it's great to be here with you.
And I think we're making a lot of progress. I have had multiple conversations all weekend with the leadership of both the Senate and the House. I spoke with Chuck, Chuck Schumer, this morning already. I know he's on after.
And I think we're making a lot of progress.
And let me just say, on this PPP program, it was three weeks ago that the president signed the law. We had the program up and running in a week, which was unprecedented. It's impacted now over 30 million Americans.
And let me just comment. The community banks have done an extraordinary job. Sixty percent of the loans have been approved by banks that have $10 billion of assets and below and 20 percent with $1 billion and below.
So the community banks have just done a terrific job here getting these loans approved.
TAPPER: Two weeks ago, you promised businesses -- quote -- "If you can't get the loan today or tomorrow, don't worry, there will be money." Some analysts and experts tell CNN that, ultimately, the Paycheck Protection Program might need upwards of a trillion dollars.
What do you think?
MNUCHIN: I don't think that's the case.
And we're incredibly pleased with the participation rate. And because of that, we want Congress to approve more funds right away. We think that another $300 billion -- that's what we're talking about -- should be sufficient to reach almost everybody.
And let me just comment. We have also reached an agreement on SBA disaster loans. So, there will be another $50 billion appropriated, which can do over $300 billion disaster loans.
So, these two programs are unprecedented response to small businesses, which I think you know is about 50 percent of the American work force.