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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.

Read the bill text.

Go deeper

PPP was not distributed equally across racial lines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There's more evidence that the government’s flagship small business loan program was distributed unequally across racial lines.

Why it matters: Minority-owned companies are faring much worse — and the fate of their businesses is much more bleak — than white-owned ones, as the pandemic slams Main Street.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign vows virus focus

Joe Biden puts on a mask after a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign contends that President Trump's talk of delaying November's election is an effort to distract, and vows to be what a Biden aide called "laser-focused" on Trump's pandemic response.

Why it matters: After aides convinced the president that the issue was hurting him badly in the polls, Trump has tried for the past two weeks to show renewed focus on the coronavirus, including the restoration of his briefings.

Jul 31, 2020 - Health

Fauci responds to Trump's testing tweet at House coronavirus hearing

Anthony Fauci on Friday told the House's select coronavirus committee that surging infections in the U.S. were caused by several factors, including states reopening without following social-distancing guidelines.

Why it matters: He was responding directly to a tweet from President Trump, who took to the platform during the hearing to repeat his claim that the U.S. has reported the most cases in the world due to increased testing.