Senate passes $484 billion interim coronavirus funding bill
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters at the Capitol. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
The Senate passed a $484 billion interim coronavirus funding bill via voice vote on Tuesday after more than a week of intense negotiations between the Trump administration and Congress.
Why it matters: The agreement will replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the stimulus bill's emergency loan program for small businesses, and provide billions for hospitals and expanded coronavirus testing.
The state of play: The Senate passed the bill during a 4 p.m. pro forma session, 12 days after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was blocked from passing his original $250 billion PPP bill by Democrats who were seeking extra money for state governments and hospitals.
- Meanwhile, members of the House are beginning to return to Washington for a vote, which could take place as early as Thursday.
- President Trump urged Congress to pass the bill in a Tuesday tweet, signaling that he is ready for the legislative branch to move on to a fourth stimulus package.
By the numbers: The vast majority of the funds — $322 billion — is for replenishing the PPP, which dried up last week. Roughly $60 billion of that total will be allocated to small lenders and community banks. The rest includes:
- $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which reaches communities and small businesses in underserved areas.
- $75 billion for hospitals.
- $25 billion to expand testing.
Worth noting: One of the biggest issues that the PPP faced in the rollout of the program was that small businesses in underserved communities struggled to compete with bigger businesses that had existing relationships with banks.
- This bill has carve-outs so that community businesses and lenders don’t have to fight bigger businesses and banks for the same funding, a provision that Democrats fought hard for.
What's missing: The deal does not include the $150 billion in aid for state and local governments that Democrats were seeking.
- But Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told CNN that the White House agreed to use leftover funding to replenish state and local revenues.