New Stimulus Bill Replenishes PPP, Adds Funds For Hospitals And Coronavirus Testing

(ConservativePeak.Com)- The Senate has passed a new interim emergency bill that will pump $484 billion into the economy, helping small businesses and hospitals as well as providing funding to beef up coronavirus testing.
It’s expected that the House will approve the bill later this week. President Donald Trump has already said he would sign the bill.
Of the total, $370 billion will go toward programs created to help small businesses. The majority of that ($310 billion) will replenish the very popular Paycheck Protection Program. The original $350 billion the program received was quickly used up in only a few weeks’ time, prompting the call for more funding.
The PPP provides low-interest loans to small businesses that qualify. The most attractive part of the program is that those loans can convert to forgivable grants as long as the business uses a majority of the money to keep payroll levels consistent, with the rest for expenses such as rent, utilities and/or mortgage payments.
One of the complaints about the original program was that there were too many loopholes that allowed large corporations to gobble up all the funding, leaving the smaller mom-and-pop shops — which really need the funding — out of luck. This new bill aims to close some of those gaps.
Of the new $310 billion the PPP will receive, $60 billion is set aside for lenders that have $50 billion or less in assets. Another $30 billion is set aside for lenders that have $10 billion or less in assets. The remaining $220 billion will be available for all lenders.
This portion of the bill is something Democrats pushed hard for, and won in the end. There is some concern that it may delay the application and approval process, since the Small Business Administration’s system isn’t set up this way right now, but the Treasury Department said it is working on solving the potential issue quickly.
The Senate’s new bill also includes $60 billion to replenish the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which ran out of money rather quickly as well.
In addition to this support for small businesses, hospitals and health care providers that are struggling will be allocated $75 billion in help. This adds to the $100 billion that was given to the industry when the original economic stimulus package was passed back in March.
Finally, $25 billion will be given to purchase and manufacture more coronavirus testing, $11 billion of which is allocated to states and local places to administer the tests and conduct contact tracing. Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will receive $1 billion to ramp up surveillance measures such as contract tracing.
The one thing that Democrats originally fought for but didn’t win, apparently, is extra funding for local and state governments. Many leaders of large cities have called for federal help as they face severe budget shortfalls, but that doesn’t appear to be happening this time around.
It’s possible, though, that this fourth economic stimulus bill will not be the last.