U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
Michael Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion coronavirus relief package into law Friday as Washington plans the next steps in its unprecedented attempt to rescue an economy and health care system bludgeoned by the pandemic.
The bill puts $370 billion into aid for small businesses trying to keep employees on payroll as they shutter to slow Covid-19’s spread. It grants $75 billion to hospitals struggling to cover costs during the crisis, and $25 billion for efforts to ramp up testing for the disease.
The package becomes the fourth passed by Congress to respond to the outbreak, with a total cost approaching $3 trillion. As Covid-19 cases rise and sustained economic shutdowns keep millions of Americans out of work, many in Congress predict lawmakers will have more work to do to buoy the country — even as Republicans start to grow wary of the mammoth spending.
The legislation includes:
- $310 billion in new funds for the so-called Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small business loans that can be forgiven if used for wages, benefits, rent and utilities. $60 billion is set aside for small lenders.
- $60 billion for Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans and grants.
- $75 billion in grants to hospitals dealing with a flood of patients.
- $25 billion to bolster coronavirus testing, a key part of efforts to reopen the economy.
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