Mitch McConnell. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate passed legislation by unanimous consent Tuesday night extending the application period for the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8, just hours before the federal loan program was set to expire.

Yes, but: The House still needs to pass the Senate version of the relief bill, and President Trump will need to sign off. Prospects for either are uncertain. Approximately $130 billion in PPP funding remains available.

Why it matters: The extension comes as chunks of the U.S. economy are again having to close down to try to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening to reverse economic progress of the past month and deepen the recession.

  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Tuesday that remaining PPP funds should go to the hardest-hit industries, including "restaurants and hotels," and noted that additional stimulus money will be necessary.

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Oct 9, 2020 - Health

HCA to return $1.6 billion in coronavirus bailout funds

HCA's hospitals are closing the books on a profitable Q3, despite the pandemic. Photo: Rusty Russell/Getty Images

HCA Healthcare is giving back $1.6 billion of federal bailout payments and paying back $4.4 billion in Medicare loans early. The money was intended to help hospitals weather the pandemic as patients delayed elective care.

Why it matters: Over the summer, the hospital industry said the pandemic was resulting in "the greatest financial crisis we have ever faced in our history." But HCA expects to report higher revenue and adjusted profits in the third quarter.

Updated Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden balks at Trumpless town hall debate

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images; Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

After President Trump announced he would not participate in a virtual debate next week, Joe Biden's campaign released a statement Thursday that the former vice president would instead "find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly."

The state of play: The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the town hall would be entirely virtual "for the health and safety of all involved" as Trump continues to recover from coronavirus.

Updated Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he won't take part in virtual debate

Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images

President Trump, who continues to battle a coronavirus infection, told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo on Thursday that he will not take part in a virtual second presidential debate, with his campaign later saying he would do two in person debates later on this month.

What he's saying: "I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. It’s not what debating is all about. ... It’s ridiculous," the president said.