The White House and Congress threw a lifeline to about a million small businesses today as they came to an agreement to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program with $310 billion, according to numerous published reports.
The plan is expected to be voted on at a scheduled U.S. Senate session this afternoon with passage in the House of Representatives coming either tomorrow or Thursday.
No official announcement has been made yet, but according to CNN, the deal includes $310 billion for PPP loans with $125 billion of that dedicated exclusively to the smallest businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The program can be used to cover certain expenses for businesses that have little or no revenue coming in but is primarily designed to keep employees on the payroll while their workplaces are closed or severely limited.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said negotiators worked past midnight to finalize the agreement, with the provisions over testing holding up progress the most. Ultimately, $25 billion will be allocated to testing, with $11 billion going directly to states. The bill also includes $75 billion for hospitals.
In all, the legislation will cost $484 billion, according to CNN, which said it had acquired a copy of the bill.
What’s not in the legislation is funding to replace state revenues lost in the fight against COVID-19, but that does not mean states will be left high and dry. The bill reportedly includes language that allows states to use previous allocations to replace lost revenues.
Additionally, the White House indicated that it was not saying no to new funding for states, but not now.
“After I sign this Bill, we will begin discussions on the next Legislative Initiative with fiscal relief … to State/Local Governments for lost revenues from COVID 19, much needed Infrastructure Investments for Bridges, Tunnels, Broadband, Tax Incentives for Restaurants, Entertainment, Sports, and Payroll Tax Cuts to increase Economic Growth,” the president tweeted this afternoon.