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Senate Passes $484B Coronavirus Relief Plan

It includes $25B for coronavirus testing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2020 2:30 PM CDT
Updated Apr 21, 2020 4:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – Congress and the White House reached a deal on a new $484 billion coronavirus relief package in late-night talks and it sailed through the Senate on Tuesday. The package includes around $310 billion for the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of money last week after approving at least 1.7 million loans. It also includes $25 billion for coronavirus testing and $75 billion for hospitals, along with $60 billion for emergency disaster loans, the Hill reports. Leaders from both parties hammered out the deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials. "The Senate is continuing to stand by the American people," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the measure passed unanimously.

This is the fourth coronavirus relief bill, and the second-largest. Around $60 billion of the money for small businesses will be earmarked for "under-banked" neighborhoods and rural areas. President Trump said he would sign the measure. "I urge the Senate and House to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act with additional funding for PPP, Hospitals, and Testing," he tweeted, adding that after he signed the bill, discussions would begin on fiscal relief for state and local governments. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, said the House would vote on the measure Thursday, the AP reports. He said the House would also vote on a measure to allow proxy voting while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a measure that some GOP lawmakers oppose. (Read more small business stories.)

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