Senate Passes New Coronavirus Relief Packet Of $484 Billion To Extend PPP Small Business Loan Program
The Senate approved a new $484 billion bill in coronavirus aid for small businesses and hospitals on Tuesday. The package also includes more money for testing.
After days of negotiations between Democrats and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the agreement was passed by a voice vote.
The deal includes an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $60 billion specifically for community banks and smaller lenders. Hospitals got $75 billion, $25 billion from testing and $60 billion for emergency disaster loans and grants were also included in the packet.
Sen. Rand Paul, who has tested positive for COVID-19, said he opposed the funding but would not block the passage of the deal.
“The virus bailouts have already cost over $2 trillion. Our annual deficit this year will approach $4 trillion. We can’t continue on this course. No amount of bailout dollars will stimulate an economy that is being strangled by quarantine,” Paul said on Tuesday.
Congress has been under lots of pressure to act fast as the coronavirus pandemic obliterates huge sectors of the economy where businesses have been forced to hold back or close altogether.
According to a Pew Research Center survey released on Tuesday, 43% of responders said they had their wages cut or have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.