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Trump Signs $484 Billion Relief Package for Small Businesses, Hospitals

Then-President Donald Trump prior to signing the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” at tbhe White House, April 24, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst

/Reuters)

President Trump on Friday signed into law a $484 billion relief package that replenishes funds for small business loans to offset the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill allocates $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, which was established as part of the massive $2.2 trillion relief package approved by lawmakers earlier this month. Another $120 billion will be directed to small banks, half of which will go toward emergency loan programs, and $100 billion will be allocated to hospitals and coronavirus testing efforts.

Funding for the PPP, initially set at $350 billion, ran dry last week due to high demand. Congressional negotiations over additional relief stalled last week as Democrats demanded the addition of funds for hospitals and local governments to relief for the PPP.

The bill was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Wednesday, with many lawmakers on recess until May, and the House passed the legislation yesterday by a vote of 388-5.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Tuesday said he was opposed to passing any new relief packages until all lawmakers have returned from recess.

“My view is: We just added another $500 billion to the national debt. Let’s see how things are working, McConnell told Politico. “We need to weigh our obligations vs. [states and cities], since they have taxing authorities as well, and how to divide up the responsibility. So we’re not going to move on another bill related to this subject until we all get back here.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is also a violist, and has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

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