Politics

Senate strikes deal on $484 billion relief package for small business, hospitals, testing

Key Points
  • The Senate reached a $484 billion coronavirus relief agreement that includes small business loans and funding for hospitals and testing. 
  • It hopes to pass the bill Tuesday afternoon and send it to the House. 
  • The deal would allocate $320 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion of which would be set aside for small lenders.
  • It would also offer $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.
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Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a deal Tuesday on a $484 billion coronavirus relief package for small businesses, hospitals and testing.

The Senate could vote on legislation as soon as 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and will need unanimous support to pass it. The House could approve the bill as early as Thursday.

The deal would allocate $310 billion more into the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans for small businesses. $60 billion of that would be set aside for small institutions, according to a bill summary released by his office. Half of the $60 billion would go to lenders with assets of less than $10 billion, and half would go to those with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion.  

Another roughly $60 billion would go to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, $10 billion of which would be in the form of grants. The program, which is separate from the PPP, quickly went through the $10 billion originally allotted to it as part of the first small business plan. 

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, speaks to reporters after leaving the Senate floor following a failed attempt to add an additional $250 billion to small business coronavirus relief funds, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 9, 2020.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

The bill grants $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing. Out of the testing funding, $11 billion would go to states, people familiar with the deal said. The remaining funds would go to agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Up to $1 billion may be used to cover the costs of testing for the uninsured.

The bill clarifies that agriculture companies are eligible for the EIDL program, after previous concern they were not.

Here's what the bill would include:

  • $310 billion total for PPP, with $250 billion unrestricted and $60 billion set aside for smaller institutions
  • $50 billion for EIDL loans and $10 billion for EIDL grants
  • $75 billion for hospitals 
  • $25 billion for testing, $11 billion of which will be distributed to states
  • $2.1 billion for Small Business Administration administrative expenses

"I welcome this bipartisan agreement and hope the Senate will quickly pass it once members have reviewed the final text," McConnell said in a statement, criticizing Democrats for resisting the passage of additional small business funding earlier this month "in a search for partisan 'leverage' that never materialized."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday morning that he believes the Senate will pass an additional relief bill for small businesses later in the day.

Schumer, D-N.Y., told CNN that he spoke "well past midnight" with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and "came to an agreement on just about every issue." 

The government has been under pressure to replenish a fund allocated to small businesses as part of the $2.2 trillion relief bill President Donald Trump signed late last month. The program offers forgivable loans to companies that agree to maintain payroll. Its funds, which totaled $349 billion, ran out last week, putting pressure on businesses that retained employees in hopes of obtaining the loan. 

"Staff were up all night, writing. There's still a few more I's to dot and T's to cross, but we have a deal. And I believe we'll pass it today," Schumer said. 

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Democrats had fought to carve out pots of money devoted exclusively to smaller businesses after larger companies with close bank relationships quickly swooped up the original pot of money.  

 "We insisted that a chunk of the money be separate from the competition with the bigger companies, you know the ones that have two, three, 400 people and a relationship with the banks," Schumer said Tuesday. 

Democrats had also pushed for more aid to states and local governments to weather the crisis, as funds have quickly dried up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Republican members on Sunday the package would not include the Democrats' push for state and local government funding.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he wants to see additional money for states and municipalities in a separate bill after Congress passes small business aid. 

— CNBC's Kayla Tausche and Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.