‘Interim’ spending package headed to House as early as Thursday
Top Democrats and the Trump administration reached an agreement today on a $480 billion aid package that would replenish the small-business loan program meant to aid small businesses impacted by the novel Coronavirus outbreak. It will also provide funding for hospitals facing financial shortfalls due to COVID-19.
What the Bill Includes
The agreement passed the Senate by unanimous consent yesterday with the House on track to follow on Thursday when lawmakers in that chamber return to Washington for a vote. Here are the highlights:
- $310 billion in appropriations for Small Business Administration’s PPP
- $10 billion is included for administrative costs, such as fees paid to lenders participating in the program
- $50 billion for emergency disaster loans
- $60 billion will be set aside for small lenders and community financial institutions for the PPP and EIDL programs
- $25 billion for expanded COVID-19 testing
- $75 billion for hospitals to help treat patients with the virus and address funding shortfalls they are facing as a result of the pandemic
The new loan program funds could run out nearly as fast as the previously approved funding, which lasted about 14 days. That will likely put a timer on Congress’ efforts to negotiate a larger, more sweeping aid package that Republicans, Democrats and the Trump administration all agree is needed.
What the Bill Does Not Include
State and local governments wanted the bill to include funding to help address budget shortfalls they face as tax revenues decrease and additional lost revenue from other sources begin to pinch budgets. There is no additional direct aid in the latest package, and the bill doesn’t include additional food aid that Democrats originally requested. Many local associations such as chambers or commerce and home builders’ associations, who are established as 501(c)6 organizations, have been cut out of SBA funding and will continue to press for access to these funds in future deals.