After passing a vote in the Senate earlier in the week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $484 billion COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief package, just weeks after the Trump Administration passed a $2 trillion stimulus package. President Donald Trump then signed the bill Friday afternoon, according to The Washington Post.
The bill, according to Politico, includes an additional $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which ran out of money last week. The package also provides another $60 billion to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, $75 billion in emergency relief for hospitals and $25 billion to ramp up coronavirus testing. It’s important to note, the new funding for the may already be spoken for, according to CNBC. The report says that, due to the volume of applications already send to the SBA, most—if not all of the new $321 billion—will go to those currently in the queue.
The relief package is the fourth such bill passed by Congress in less than two months, although this will likely only serve as an interim bill as Congress works on “CARES Act 2.”
After the framework for the bill was announced, Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), said, “While these programs are far from perfect, they have provided financial relief to some of our members, and the additional funding will mean more relief for more travel agencies”
The next stimulus package is reportedly to focus on aid for state and local governments. The bill will likely not be moved until both the House and Senate return to Washington, D.C. on May 4.