Congress should now turn focus to helping states, cities devastated by virus response efforts
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the $470 billion coronavirus response legislation passed unanimously by the Senate today:
“The coronavirus recovery bill passed by the Senate today provides much-needed immediate support for small businesses and their employees and health care workers on the front lines of this pandemic. However, more still needs to be done, particularly to help states and local government relief efforts.
“I have heard from numerous California small businesses that were unable to get relief funds from the last appropriation. The bill advanced by the Senate today provides $370 billion in additional small business relief, including $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program that was depleted last week. It includes important new provisions to ensure that the smaller businesses in our communities will have a better chance to secure these loans.
“It also provides an additional $75 billion for hospitals and health care workers and $25 billion to expand coronavirus testing. Senate Democrats also secured commitments from the Trump administration to include more state and local funding in the next bill to help communities that have foregone revenue due to the pandemic continue providing essential services.
“Today’s bill addresses some immediate needs that couldn’t wait.”
What’s in the bill:
- $310 billion to replenish the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses that retain their employees on payroll. The original $350 billion for the program ran out last Thursday after just two weeks.
- $60 billion of this funding is for community banks with less than $50 billion in assets to ensure that smaller and women- and minority-owned businesses have better access to funding.
- $60 billion in new Economic Injury Disaster Loan funding that will provide grants and low-interest loans to small businesses hurt by the current disaster. Farmers will be able to access these funds, as well as the $310 billion in additional Paycheck Protection Program funding, for the first time.
- $75 billion for reimbursement to hospitals and health care providers for coronavirus expenses and lost revenue. This is in addition to the $100 billion provided under the original CARES Act.
- $25 billion to help state and local governments expand coronavirus testing and contact tracing capabilities.