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Senate Approves $484 Billion Package to Help Small Businesses, Expand Testing

The Senate on Tuesday authorized a relief package that adds billions in new funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), expands coronavirus testing and provides extra funding for hospitals. 

The $484 billion bill will head to the House on Thursday for a vote, according to CNN. The additional funds come on top of the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed last month, which has already been depleted of funds. Lawmakers are already planning on the next major funding effort bill, per the report. 

About $310 billion of the newly authorized funds will be dedicated to the PPP. The program ran out of funds earlier this month before many small business employers could get approval for a loan. 

The bill will also give $75 billion to hospitals and health care providers to put toward coronavirus expenses and lost revenue. Another $25 billion will help facilitate expansion of Covid-19 testing.

Not all lawmakers are happy with the additional spending. 

“The virus bailouts have already cost over $2 trillion,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on the Senate floor, “We can’t continue on this course. No amount of bailout dollars will stimulate an economy that is being strangled by quarantine. It is not a lack of money that plagues us, but a lack of commerce. This economic calamity only resolves when we begin to re-open the economy.”