We are talking about increasing the program to ensure the payment of salaries by 350 billion dollars.
Less than two weeks after us lawmakers approved the largest economic aid package in the country’s history, on Thursday, April 9, Congress intends to allocate even more money to help Americans affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
Congress wants to approve additional funding for the $ 350 billion payroll protection Program, which will be implemented as part of the CARES act, passed to provide assistance and implement economic security measures in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
A $ 2.2 trillion package of economic measures was quickly passed by Congress at the end of March, as a result of the pandemic; many American companies were forced to stop their activities. The temporary closure of thousands of businesses contributed to a record increase in unemployment: nearly 10 million Americans asked for unemployment benefits during the second half of March. Such a jump in unemployment in the country has not been observed since 1982. Many analysts believe that these numbers may soon reach levels last seen in the US only during the great depression in the 1930s.
Under the CARES act, laid-off and unemployed Americans will receive a Federal benefit of $ 600 a week for four months, in addition to regular benefits.
The law also assists private entrepreneurs and small business owners. Small companies will be given loans to cover wages and expenses incurred by entrepreneurs during the economic downturn.
According to the White House, by April 7, just five days into the program, the small business Administration had issued more than 220,000 loans to entrepreneurs totaling $ 66 billion. In a request to Congress, the White House asked lawmakers to increase funding for the program by $ 251 billion.
“It is quickly becoming clear that Congress will need to provide more funds, or this important program may end,” Senate Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday. -“That can’t be allowed. Nearly 10 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in just the past two weeks. This is a tragic record, and every day now counts.”
The acceptance of applications for participation in the program began last Friday. Many entrepreneurs were not able to take part in it, because the banks serving them were not included in the list of creditors participating in the state program. Other applicants report long waiting times for information.
On Wednesday, congressional Democrats backed a call for more funding, calling for some of the money to be spent on women, various minorities, and Military veterans.
The bill to increase funding will be put to a vote in the Senate through an accelerated procedure. Then it will be considered in the House of Representatives, and this may happen as early as next Friday.
The bill is supported by both parties. Immediately after the vote, the bill will be passed to President Donald Trump for signature.
Also, negotiations on the second round of assistance to the economy will begin on April 20. Democrats are likely to ask the administration to make direct payments to Americans, in addition to a one-time payment of $ 1,200 to those millions of citizens whose annual income does not exceed $ 75,000 a year. The first stage of these payments will begin in mid-April.