On Thursday, the House passed the newest federal stimulus package aimed at providing financial relief for businesses and institutions hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
After lingering in the Senate for two weeks of debates, with Republicans seeking to pass a less comprehensive version of the legislation and Democrats working to weave other funding into the package, the interim legislation will allocate $310 billion to replenish the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing. The bill also includes additional funds for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Large banks are accused of eschewing a first-come-first-served system, instead doling the loans out preferentially based on their potential to make money. Some relatively large businesses also used gaping loopholes in the program to soak up the free funds. Democrats fought to include new carve-outs that could address some of these problems, and the final bill allocates $30 billion in loans for banks and credit unions with $10 to $50 billion in assets and another $30 billion for banks with less than $10 billion in assets.