House Passes Additional Aid Package

Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

The $480 billion package will reinvigorate the Paycheck Protection Program, among other things.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a new bill to allocate approximately $484 billion to several facets of coronavirus relief efforts. The measure passed 388-5, and the bill will be shortly sent to the President’s desk. President Trump has announced his support for the additional funding and his intent to sign it into law.

The bulk of the money, approximately $310 billion, will be allocated to the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP was initially created to provide accommodating loans to smaller businesses that were struggling during the pandemic lockdown. Unfortunately, the program completely exhausted its supply of loans earlier in the month. This prompted blowback from both small business owners and consumers, especially when it was discovered that many of the businesses that received assistance from the PPP were large, publicly traded businesses and chains. Representatives have assured citizens that the new influx of money will be reserved for smaller businesses, and that larger companies will not have access to it.

Credit: AP

The remainder of the money is reserved for medical purposes. $75 billion will be sent to hospitals to offset their expenses and lost revenue, while $25 billion will be dedicated to expanding coronavirus testing around the country.

In addition to the money, a coronavirus oversight panel has been established as a subcommittee of the house oversight committee. This new committee will have the power and responsibility of investigating exactly how the coronavirus relief funds are being spent around the country. According to the official description of the committee, it will be authorized to “conduct a full and complete investigation” and “issue a final report to the House of its findings.” Exact topics of investigation include “executive branch policies, deliberations, decisions, activities, and internal and external communications related to the coronavirus crisis.”

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