[April 22nd update] The Republican controlled Senate has now passed a $484 billion coronavirus bill for small business and Coronavirus related hospitalization and testing. This is in line with the earlier update below, with the following changes;
- $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses.
- $120 billion to the SBA Aid and disaster assistance loans and grant programs
- $100 billion to hospitals and testing for Coronavirus-COVID purposes
It now goes to the House and President for signing into law. All this is expected to happen this week.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Congressional Leaders are close to reaching an agreement on the fourth stimulus package of 2020. This could be rolled out as early as this week. The only issue is that it seems that this stimulus bill is only going to be focused on small businesses and the healthcare industry. The need to support small business to mitigate the financial fallout and our healthcare workers to fight the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak is fine but it is disappointing to see that there is no additional funding or payments for groups that missed out on the earlier rounds of stimulus check payments. Here is what the new $400+ billion stimulus aid deal will likely contain based on recent reports:
- $100 billion in additional spending for hospitals and coronavirus related testing. Cannot argue with this, but hopefully there is some oversight and the money is not just going to the few big states getting all the media attention.
- Adding to $300 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses. This program was swamped by demand in the last three weeks and completely exhausted its $350 billion of funding as part of the CARES bill. However there has been a lot of criticism that millions of small business’ have been unable to get access to the PPP loans via traditional banks. Further is seems larger “small business” are actually getting more benefit from these programs. There is also a considerable fraud being reported with now defunct small business claiming these benefits.
- It also would add $60 billion to a separate emergency loan program for small businesses
What the new Stimulus Bill DOES not seem to include
- Additional individual economic impact payments (stimulus checks) or any plan to address the many issues like missing coverage for over 17 dependents which means they don’t get the $500 dependent stimulus
- No explicit federal provision to prevent existing stimulus payments being taken away by creditors if you are behind on debts. This was a gap in the earlier stimulus bill and while some states (like NY) have laws to prevent that from happening it is not comprehensive in other states and many are seeing lower stimulus checks as a result
- No expansion or extension unemployment benefits. This s another blow to millions of unemployed Americans still waiting for unemployment stimulus payments under the enhanced PUA programs now in place.
Do you think the new provisions are fair?