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Mnuchin prepares to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. Photo: Asos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that the $134 billion in leftover funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) should be repurposed and extended to businesses that have suffered the most during the coronavirus pandemic, including "restaurants and hotels."

Why it matters: Today is the last day small businesses can apply for loans via the PPP, as coronavirus cases spike and some states are pausing or rolling back reopening plans. The prospects for small businesses, many of which have already seen significant revenue drops, are devastating.

The big picture: Mnuchin also said that additional stimulus money will be needed, though it should be targeted to "certain industries that have been hard hit by the pandemic."

"I do think we need to look at in the next CARES Act is additional funding for these industries that are the hardest hit so they can continue to rehire people."
— Steven Mnuchin

Note: Axios returned the PPP loan that it qualified for.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

Small businesses worry about survival

Data: Alignable; Chart: Axios Visuals

Small business owners and employees have been less sanguine about a delay in fiscal spending than stock traders.

Driving the news: A new survey from Alignable finds that many small businesses are growing more worried about "a severe cash crunch," with 42% saying they could collapse by the end of the fourth quarter.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why Trump dumped stimulus negotiations

President Trump. Photo: Tia Dufour/The White House via Getty Images

Markets were stunned by President Trump's announcement on Twitter that the White House was pulling out of stimulus discussions with House Democrats on Tuesday — and several Trump advisers even told Axios' Jonathan Swan they were perplexed by the "inept" decision, calling it a "gift" for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But it makes sense if you follow the logic of Trump's economic advisers.

Where it stands: Trump has surrounded himself with die-hard acolytes of supply-side economics, like one-time pick for the Federal Reserve Stephen Moore, who argue that fiscal stimulus measures and increased benefits for unemployed Americans not only don't help, but hurt the economy.

22 mins ago - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.