WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate approved legislation that significantly bolsters funding for programs that support small businesses, hospitals, and COVID-19 testing.
“This bipartisan bill includes essential additional funding to help small businesses that are facing extraordinary and unprecedented challenges, as well as our hospitals that are struggling to stay afloat as they deliver life-saving care. It also will help put us on the path to safely re-opening our economy by providing additional funding and requiring the administration to put forward a plan to increase testing. Unfortunately, this legislation does not provide any new funding or additional flexibility to state and local governments – a missed opportunity to prevent a second wave of economic turmoil. I will keep pushing to hold the President and Senate Republicans to their word that this will be addressed in the next legislative package."
The legislation passed 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.