Congress recently passed another round of stimulus to help counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus. The bill includes more funding for hospitals, small businesses, and coronavirus testing. Below we look at the details of the $484 billion legislation.
More Money for Small Businesses
The March stimulus package included the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Both programs ran out of funds quickly, and so the April stimulus provides additional funding for each.
The PPP will receive about $310 billion, with $60 billion earmarked for lenders with less than $50 billion in assets and $30 billion for even smaller lenders that hold less than $10 billion on their balance sheets. The aim is to ensure PPP funds are available for the smaller main street and mom and pop businesses.
The EIDL program gets an additional $60 billion in funding.
Help for Hospitals and Other Health-Care Providers
The new legislation allocates $75 billion to hospitals and health-care providers. These organizations’ budgets are under stress due to the unexpected costs of responding to the pandemic combined with a lack of revenue from canceled and postponed procedures. This money is in addition to the $100 billion included in the March stimulus package. Currently, as much as $70 billion of the original aid package is still undispersed.
Facilitating Coronavirus Testing
The bill also aims to help ramp up testing by providing $25 billion to fund the manufacture and purchase of test kits. $11 billion of this is earmarked for state and local governments to administer tests and conduct contact tracing. The CDC will also receive around $1 billion to aid in surveillance measures and contact tracing.
No Aid for Local or State Governments
Many city and state leaders claim they urgently need federal relief to help manage the pandemic and to replace shortfalls in tax revenues. Democrats wanted to include funding for local and state governments in response to mayors’ and governors’ requests; however, Republicans managed to keep these provisions out of the bill. President Trump indicated he would like to see such aid in future rounds of stimulus, accompanied by infrastructure spending stimulus.
The United States government passed the most recent stimulus bill to shore up shortfalls of the initial stimulus package. Many in Congress believe this may still not be enough and there is already talk of further economic stimulus packages. The details of these, however, are still to be determined.