Small businesses, hospitals given more aid through new relief package

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A major $484 billion relief package that was signed by President Donald Trump Friday will provide sought after aid to hospitals and small businesses across the nation. 

The bill passed through the Senate and House earlier in the week.

Officials said $320 billion of the aid will go to the depleted small-business loan program, which is set up to help small businesses with payroll, rent and other expenses during the COVID-19 crisis.

 Another $60 billion will go to smaller lending associations like community development banks, and $60 billion will go to the Small Business Associations disaster relief funds, which was set up by the CARES Act.

Under the relief package,  $75 billion will also go to hospitals and $25 billion will go to a nationwide COVID-19 testing program.

The bill comes over two weeks after Treasury Secretary Steve Munichin requested $250 billion to be infused into the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the New York Times.

Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said this bill should have given more aid to states and municipalities struggling amid the virus pandemic, something Democrats said they would fight for in future relief packages.

“The efforts of individual states or individual citizens, heroic as they are, will not be enough, and we dare not abandon them in these dark times,” Schumer said in a statement Tuesday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a news conference that he knew the state and local governments’ pleas would spark debate about what the next bill will include, but he did not see the Senate passing any more legislation without the entire Senate being back on Capitol Hill in person.

But the bill was still passed- with lawmakers voting in small groups while wearing masks. 

 “We are coming together, we have our usual arguments and talking points. But in the end, we did come together for the country.” McConnell said in an interview with the Times after the vote. 

The bill was passed after the Labor Department said  26 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past five weeks.