Many companies did not have time to get the funding allocated for this purpose earlier before the funds ran out.
The US Senate has approved a bill to allocate an additional $ 484 billion to help small businesses and hospitals as part of congressional efforts to overcome the historic economic and health crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
US President Donald Trump via Twitter supported a bill providing for the replenishment of funds for some elements of the largest package of anti-crisis assistance in American history of $ 2 trillion, adopted in March.
“I call on the Senate and House of Representatives to pass legislation to strengthen the payroll protection and health care Program with additional funding for [this program], hospitals, and testing. After I sign this bill, we will begin discussing the next legislative initiative with fiscal incentives,” Trump wrote before Tuesday’s vote.
House democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that congressmen were asked to return to Washington by 10 a.m. on Thursday to pass the bill. After that, Trump will be able to sign the document, giving it the force of law.
Most of the additional funding is intended for small businesses that missed the opportunity to receive previously allocated anti-crisis funds.
Hoyer noted that the additional $ 320 billion in money allocated to the payroll protection Program includes assistance aimed at businesses owned by women and minorities, as well as individuals who do not have access to banks.
Under this program, if a company uses this assistance to pay employees in the next two months, the government will take responsibility for these costs and the company will not have to return this money.
The additional funding was the focus of nearly two weeks of negotiations, during which Republicans tried to vote on an accelerated scheme and immediately increase appropriations for the program.
The leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, criticized Democrats for delaying the vote in connection with the search for additional funding for other programs.
“Republicans never wanted to close this crucial program for workers and small businesses. We tried to approve additional funding a week before the funds ran out. But Democratic leaders blocked this money, spending several days trying to negotiate extraneous issues that were never discussed,” McConnell said in announcing the agreement.
The Democrats regarded the agreement as their victory.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement emphasizing that Democrats “overturned this anti-crisis package, which was an insufficient Republican plan that overlooked hospitals, medics, and front-line workers and did nothing to help the survival of the most vulnerable rank-and-file small businesses.”