Congress reached a deal Tuesday on a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid bill that President Donald Trump is expected to sign.
The $484 billion deal includes another $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP, initially set up to provide $350 billion in loans to small businesses to survive the coronavirus crisis, ran out of money last week. In this round, $60 billion of the funding is specifically for underbanked businesses.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, had wanted to provide $250 billion in additional general funding for PPP alone. Democrats had fought to prioritize underbanked businesses in PPP, and fought for additional funding for hospitals and local governments to be included in the deal.
The deal now also includes $60 billion in economic disaster assistance loans and grants, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing. Out of the testing funds, $11 billion is set aside for states while the federal government will also get some of the funding.
"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 and livelihoods of the American people," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a joint statement.
The relief comes on top of the $2.3 trillion "Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed last month to help Americans and the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus crisis.
McConnell issued a statement praising the additional funding for the PPP section of the CARES Act.
"I am encouraged that Democratic leaders have finally agreed to reopen the Paycheck Protection Program and abandon a number of their unrelated demands," McConnell said.
"In a week-plus while our Democratic colleagues delayed the urgent PPP funds, additional federal help for hospitals and healthcare providers became urgent as well," McConnell added. "Republicans have always supported more medical funding as soon as necessary and I am proud this package will provide roughly $75 billion more to fund hospitals and healthcare providers in this crisis.
McConnell also thanked Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who both worked with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on resolving issues in the bill's passage, for negotiating the additional $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.
"I urged the House to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act with additional funding for PPP, hospitals and testing," Trump tweeted. "After I sign this bill, we will begin discussions on the next legislative initiative with fiscal relief."