The Senate has passed a new $484 billion coronavirus relief package, including more than $300 billion in additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to bail out small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to CNBC.
The plan will now go to the House of Representatives, which is expected to give its approval by Thursday.
President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats agreed to the measure on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.
Under the terms of the bill, which was shared by Politico, the measure will provide the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) with another $310 billion for the popular PPP program, which Uncle Sam designed to provide forgiveness loans to SMBs. Congress and Trump originally funded the PPP initiative with $349 billion, but the program ran out of money after just 13 days, and many SMBs got nothing.
In addition to $310 billion for PPP, the new aid package includes a separate $60 billion for emergency SMB grants and loans. The agreement also contains $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion to fund a new coronavirus testing program.
“The American people are counting on Congress to put aside reflexive partisanship and work across the aisle to help our nation through this pandemic,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement announcing the agreement.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated it would pass Congress with bipartisan support, tweeting: “Congressional Democrats are proud to have secured an agreement on an interim emergency funding package that has been transformed to provide real support for the lives & livelihoods of the American people."
Trump also endorsed the measure in a tweet, writing: “I urge the Senate and House to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act with additional funding for PPP, Hospitals, and Testing. After I sign this Bill, we will begin discussions on the next Legislative Initiative with fiscal relief to State/Local Governments for lost revenues from COVID 19, much needed Infrastructure Investments for Bridges, Tunnels, Broadband, Tax Incentives for Restaurants, Entertainment, Sports, and Payroll Tax Cuts to increase Economic Growth.”
The latest bailout comes on the heels of a record $2 trillion COVID-19 rescue that Congress passed in March.