A $ 484 billion relief plan is expected to go through the House on Thursday and be promulgated by President Donald Trump, bringing the total amount of aid approved since the start of the crisis to nearly $ 3 trillion.
The bill, which was approved by the Senate on Tuesday, will inject an additional $ 310 billion into the paycheck protection program, which was designed to help businesses with fewer than 500 workers keep up with their payroll, but has quickly overwhelmed by demand. After big companies, including some well-known national channels, revealed they had benefited from the fund, bipartisan outrage led Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to announce new restrictions on who can apply for loans.
An additional $ 60 billion will be set aside for a small business emergency grant and loan program.
As a concession to the Democrats, the measure also includes an additional injection of funds for hospitals and coronavirus testing. The $ 25 billion allocated for testing will be shared between state and federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and others, while an additional $ 75 billion will be spent on hospitals.
No additional funding is planned for cities and states facing massive budget deficits that may soon start to fire civil servants. Democrats hope that this need will be taken into account in future relief plans. President Trump has said he is open to the idea, while Senate majority chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Has argued that states should consider declaring bankruptcy instead.