The new coronavirus aid package gives $320 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program
The bill pours $320 billion into the PPP, which allows small businesses to continue paying their employees. This lending program supports hospitals and COVID-19 testing in particular.
The measure includes an additional: $60 billion reserved for community banks and small lenders; $75 billion for hospitals; $25 billion to support testing efforts; and $60 billion for emergency disaster loans and grants, reported CNN.
Of the total amount dedicated to testing, there will be $11 billion given to states and localities to develop, administer, and analyze COVID-19 tests. The rest of the money will be given to other entities to invest in new technologies and to distribute to labs.
PPP was popular and ran out of its initial $350 billion in just two weeks, reported NPR. There will be efforts to include additional resources for state and local governments in the next bill.
This is the fourth measure Congress has approved since Mar. 1 to tackle coronavirus and its economic repercussions, totaling $2.7 trillion in federal funds to fight the pandemic.
The House also established a select coronavirus oversight committee, led by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that the next package would likely not be approved until May, when lawmakers return to Washington, according to the Hill. Lawmakers began issuing proposals and demands for the next round of funding.