Congress Approves More Aid for Small Businesses and Healthcare Providers
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-18) announced that the House approved H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, today with his support. The bill will now be sent to the President, who has said that he will sign it into law.
“We’re at a critical point in this pandemic, and I believe it’s essential that we help all of our small businesses and healthcare providers to get through it,” Doyle said before the vote. “This bill reforms the Paycheck Protection Program to target money towards small businesses, provides more funding for small business assistance and support for healthcare providers, and invests in a national COVID-19 testing program so we can get this virus under control and reopen our country.”
The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act will provide $370 billion in additional assistance for small businesses, as well as another $75 billion to help hospitals and other healthcare providers. It will also provide $25 billion for coronavirus testing.
This legislation also reformed the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It included $310 Billion to replenish the PPP, which had run out of funding – but in addition, the bill directed that $60 billion of the PPP small business assistance be distributed through community banks and other smaller lenders, in order to ensure that more of this aid goes to ‘mom and pop’ businesses, not large corporations.
“The Paycheck Protection Program as originally enacted did too little to help mom and pop businesses, especially minority-owned small businesses, so I pushed for Congress to fix it in this bill so that it would benefit all small businesses in need during the coronavirus pandemic.,” Congressman Doyle observed. “House and Senate Democrats fought hard for this provision, which was not in the legislation proposed by the Administration and Senate Republicans, and I’m very pleased that it was included in the final version of the bill. I believe that this is an important improvement to the Paycheck Protection Program – but more reforms are still needed, and I will continue to work to ensure that all small businesses get the help they need to weather this pandemic – and that federal assistance to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic is distributed equitably.”
Click here for more information about the small business assistance provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act will also provide an additional $75 billion to support hospitals and other health care providers which have accrued major unexpected expenses in caring for victims of the coronavirus as well as revenue losses associated with halting elective medical care.
Finally, the bill will provide $25 billion for testing for COVID-19 and conducting other efforts to identify individuals infected with the coronavirus, and it requires the Administration to develop a national strategy for testing. An effective testing system is essential for safely reopening the economy, and we can’t reopen schools and businesses without adequate testing.
Click here for more information about the healthcare provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
“I was disappointed that, despite Democrats’ efforts, the bill didn’t provide additional help for state and local governments, which are faced with the double whammy of both paying for efforts to address the pandemic – and losing revenues from the economic shutdown,” Congressman Doyle added. “I anticipate that there will be more bills considered in Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and I will continue to work to ensure that aid for state and local governments is included in any such legislation.”