The House and Senate have passed the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” (Stimulus 3.5). The bill provides $484 billion in additional funding to supplement programs under the CARES Act. The bill includes further aid to small businesses and hospitals, as well as funding for coronavirus testing.
Below are some of the key provisions in the bill:
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Appropriates an additional $321 billion in funding, with $60 billion set aside for small, midsize and community lenders.
Hospital and Provider Grants under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund: Provides an additional $75 billion to support the need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue due to coronavirus.
Testing: Provides $25 billion for the HHS Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to cover expenses due to research, development, validation, manufacture, purchase, administration and expanded capacity for COVID-19 tests. Requires the Administration to create a national strategy to provide assistance to states for testing and increasing testing capacity. Up to $1 billion may be used to cover costs of testing for the uninsured.
The President is expected to sign the bill today. Additionally, it is expected that Congress and the administration will immediately begin work on another comprehensive stimulus bill to address previous stimulus efforts as well as newly identified areas of need.