A $483 billion supplement to the coronavirus response legislation passed so far passed the Senate yesterday and is expected to clear the House of Representatives and become signed into law by President Trump. The measure is a stopgap to refresh funding of programs created by the CARES Act and create a bridge to the next piece of large rescue legislation expected to come out of Congress soon. The highlights of the bill are below, as reported by the Associated Press.
- Small business grants and loans: $251 billion is designated to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program and deliver loans of up to $10 million each for companies with 500 employees or fewer that absorb coronavirus-related losses; much of the loans can be forgiven if employers retain workers. An additional $60 billion would be evenly split between smaller banks and community development financial institutions to help traditionally underbanked urban neighborhoods and rural areas. Another $60 billion would be delivered through the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program, with $10 billion of that in direct grants.
- Healthcare: the legislation includes $75 billion for grans to hospitals and other healthcare providers to cover costs or lost revenues attributable to the pandemic.
- Coronavirus testing: the bill includes $25 billion for coronavirus testing as a step to relaxing stay-at-home restrictions that are a prerequisite to safely reopening the economy, split between federal and state governments. $11 billion of the total would be made available to states “to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze VOCID-19 tests.” Of the federal funds, money will be sent to the CDC, National Institutes of Health and other agencies to accelerate the deployment of rapid testing and develop tests for antibodies.
Stay tuned for more developments as this measure moves through the House.
Source: Associated Press