WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation to significantly bolster funding for programs that support small businesses, hospitals, and COVID-19 testing.
“I am glad that Congress passed and the President signed into law this bipartisan bill to get small businesses and our hospitals additional support that they desperately need during this unprecedented crisis. Importantly, this legislation also requires the administration to put together a plan to expand our country’s testing capacity and provides funding to help ramp up testing—which will be key for reopening more of the economy. While I am disappointed that this bill did not include funding or additional flexibility to state and local governments, I will push my colleagues and the administration to follow through on their commitment to address this serious concern in the next package.”
The legislation that was signed into law today builds on the bipartisan CARES Act that Senator Hassan worked to get signed into law last month. The new legislation expands by $310 billion the Paycheck Protection Program that fully covers up to 2 months of payroll, rent, and other ongoing expenses for small businesses who keep employees on their payroll. The bill also provides $50 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency disaster lending and $10 billion in SBA emergency disaster grants. It also provides an additional $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing, while also requiring the administration to put forward a plan to increase testing capacity, including testing supplies.
In addition, Senator Hassan recently led Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Angus King (I-ME), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – all former governors – in calling for the administration to give states the flexibility that they need to put funds to use mitigating the short- and long-term economic impacts of this crisis – including making up for financial impacts due to COVID-19.