April 21, 2020 Article

$480 Billion Stimulus Package Passes the U.S. Senate

On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the ‘‘Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act”, an important new federal stimulus law in reaction to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, the terms of which were negotiated by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on behalf of the Executive Branch, is expected to be passed by the House and signed into law by the President imminently.  Here’s a quick overview of some of the highlights of the $480 billion law.

One portion of the law increases funding for the Paycheck Protection Program enacted through the CARES Act, from the initial $349 billion to $659 billion. Another provision increases funding for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program from $10 billion to $20 billion, and provides eligibility for agricultural enterprises with not more than 500 employees, while another provision provides $50 billion in funding to the Small Business Administration to make disaster recovery loans.

Other portions of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provide:

  • $60 billion for certain smaller insured depository institutions, certified development companies and credit unions;
  • $75 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, to provide funding for hospitals and health care providers to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for necessary expenses to reimburse, through grants or other mechanisms, eligible health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus; and
  • An additional $25 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, to provide funding for testing and associated expenses and efforts, to conduct surveillance and contact tracing, including $11 billion for states and local governments to expand testing.

Further details on this new stimulus and relief statute will be forthcoming.