President Donald Trump on Friday signed a new bill that provides a nearly $500 billion infusion of CCP virus spending, with most of it going to supporting small businesses that have suffered during the pandemic, after Congress passed the measure earlier this week.
The bill would provide around $300 billion to help small- and medium-sized businesses with payroll and overhead costs via the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of money last week.
The measure will also provide $100 billion to hospitals and for a nationwide testing program. About $60 billion will also be provided to small banks and community development banks—as well as about $60 billion for grants and loans through the Small Business Administration’s disaster aid program.
On Thursday, the House voted 388-5 in favor of the measure after the Senate passed it earlier in the week.
“Today’s historic, bipartisan vote on our latest #FamiliesFirst package is essential to protecting families across America and ensuring more small businesses have access to the resources they need. With my signature, this legislation goes to the president’s desk,” wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a statement.
The latest round of aid comes on top of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package that doled out up to $1,200 for individuals and $500 for children. Small businesses and hospitals, respectively, were first assigned $350 billion and $100 billion in the previous stimulus bill.
Trump celebrated the bill’s passage during his daily White House update on Thursday, saying, “At a time when many Americans are enduring significant economic challenges, this bill will help small businesses to keep millions of workers on the payroll.”
As of Friday morning, more than 800,000 cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus have been confirmed in the United States, along with 50,000 deaths from the virus, according to a running tally from Johns Hopkins University. In a bid to slow the spread of the virus, governors across the country have issued stay-at-home orders, leading to numerous business closures and layoffs.
This week, the Labor Department reported that more than 25 million people have filed for unemployment insurance over the past several weeks.
“Millions of people out of work,” Pelosi said on the House floor on Thursday. “This is really a very, very, very sad day. We come to the floor with nearly 50,000 deaths, a huge number of people impacted, and the uncertainty of it all. We hope to soon get to a recovery phase. But right now we’re still in mitigation.”
Some members of the House and Senate have said that more CCP virus relief is likely in the weeks ahead as supporters have said the Payment Protection Program is certain to exhaust the funds almost immediately. The Treasury Department said that more than 1.6 million loans were given last week.
“This bill is 16 days too late,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) lamented Thursday on the floor. “It got held up for all sorts of extracurricular stuff and we should have come together. It was delayed. Real people lost their jobs as a result.”