House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told the Wall Street Journal Friday that he supports adding funding for hospitals alongside an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), designed to help small businesses survive the coronavirus shutdown.

The state of play: McCarthy's signal could break a stalemate between Republicans and Democrats on refilling the PPP, which ran out of money on Thursday — just two weeks after it launched.

  • Democrats have argued that additional funding for hospitals, food assistance and state and local governments must be tacked on — citing mayors and governors who have pleaded for more federal aid — while Republicans have sought to fund only the PPP.
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin already said he was willing to work with Democrats on what they wanted to include in the bill.

What he's saying: "Hospitals need the help. Hospitals are the modern-day soldiers," McCarthy told the Journal.

  • "I’d like to see money in there — money in the PPP and money in hospitals — that would be a very smart move right now."
  • He added that he discussed pairing the hospital and PPP funding with President Trump, who he believed was open to the idea.
  • McCarthy also suggested additional funding for the separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for small businesses — another move Democrats have wanted to include.

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