Trump signs coronavirus bill stimulus fund for small business
President Trump on Friday signed a nearly half-trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill that replenish money for small business loans to avoid layoffs.
The $ 484 billion bill is the fourth major coronavirus deal and revives the Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection program, which ran out of funds last week.
The bill also provides $ 75 billion for hospitals and $ 25 billion for COVID-19 testing.
Trump hailed the bill as “great for small businesses, great for workers” and said it “would extend relief to thousands of African American and Hispanic business owners.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Who attended the Oval Office signing ceremony, predicted the legislation would save 30 million people out of unemployment, according to a pool report.
The packet past the house 388-5 Thursday after passing the Senate unanimously on Tuesday, although Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he opposed it.
The small business program cancels loans if businesses with up to 500 employees, and in some cases more, do not lay off workers. An initial $ 350 billion was passed last month as part of a more than $ 2 trillion stimulus bill, but ran out in two weeks.
The program receives an additional $ 310 billion in the new bill. The deal includes a $ 60 billion small business loan for small banks and credit unions.
An additional $ 50 billion goes to the SBA’s Economic Disaster Loan Program and $ 10 billion to the SBA’s Economic Injury Emergency Grant program.
Since last month, 26 million Americans – roughly 16% of all workers – have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and government-ordered business closures.
New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the only Democrat to vote against the bill, saying she was frustrated that it didn’t go further, especially to prevent small business loans from going to big business.
“It’s a joke when Republicans say they have an emergency around this bill,” the self-proclaimed socialist said. “The only people they have an emergency with are people like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack. These are the people who are getting help in this bill. You’re not trying to pay this bill for moms and dads, and we have to fight to fund hospitals [and] to fund the tests.
Both Chris and Ruth’s Shake Shack have said they are returning the funds they received.
AOC added, “If you had an emergency you would legislate that rent was due on May 1 and make sure we have rent and mortgage relief for our constituents. “
Four fiscally conservative Republicans also opposed the bill, and Libertarian Representative Justin Amash (I-Michigan) voted “present”.