House Approves Additional PPP and EIDL FundingApril 24, 2020
On Thursday afternoon, April 23, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to provide an additional $484 billion in COVID-19 stilmulus, the majority of which will go to restarting lending programs under the U.S. Small Business Administration. The spending package was approved by the Senate earlier in the week, on April 21, and is expected to be signed by President Trump mid-day today, April 24 with the loans targeted to be back up and running by Monday.
After a previously failed attempt, both parties were working to ensure the new legislation could pass unanimously and President Donald Trump has already signaled that he would sign the additional funding into law.
According to a summary of the deal, the legislation includes $321 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), of which $60 billion is set aside for underbanked businesses, a priority for Democrats. The small business lending program, created by last month’s $2 trillion economic rescue package—the CARES Act (H.R. 748)—quickly exhausted its $349 billion funding amidst a surge of applications. Some banks have already warned that the new infusion of funds could once again evaporate within days.
The deal appropriates an additional $50 billion for the Disaster Loans Program Account and $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster grants, which are both housed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), while increasing the authorization level for the emergency economic grants from $10 billion to $20 billion. SBA would also receive more than $2 billion to cover salaries and expenses for federal employees.
The Department of Health and Human Services will receive a total of $100 billion, including $75 billion for hospitals to cover increased expenses and lost revenue and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.
A separate summary detailing the hospital and testing provisions notes that $11 billion of the testing total will go to “states, localities, territories, and tribes to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, scale-up laboratory capacity, trace contacts, and support employer testing. Funds are also made available to employers for testing.”
The bill provides $1 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $1.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $22 million for the FDA, $825 million for community health centers and rural health clinics and up to $1 billion to cover testing costs for the uninsured. The HHS inspector general‘s office would also receive $6 million to bolster its oversight activities.
The legislation also notes that Congress will require plans from “states, localities, territories, and tribes on how resources will be used for testing and easing Covid-19 community mitigation policies.”
While the Senate vote was approved under unanimous consent, meaning no vote was actually taken requiring Senators to be present, the House was forced to hold an in-person vote at the insistence of Republicans. Lawmakers are not scheduled to come back to D.C. until May 4 at the earliest
Last week, NSBA sent a letter we sent to leadership asking for the prompt passage of additional funds for the critical PPP and EIDL loan programs.