On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved a $484 billion stimulus aid package, but how much money can Americans expect from this latest bill? It turns out, not much at all. While the $2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump last month saw direct payments to Americans, the new bipartisan bill puts its emphasis on small businesses and does not included provisions for additional stimulus checks for individuals.
The bill, which is expected to be signed by the president soon, puts emphasis on replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program, Forbes reports. The PPP "is aimed at small businesses and offers guarantees for forgivable loans if the majority of the money is used to retain employees." The bill allocates $320 billion for the PPP, which saw initial funding provided by the CARES Act quickly depleted. The Daily Mail reports that of that $320 billion, $125 billion will go to the minority and women-owned businesses and "little mom-and-pop stores." Another $60 billion will be directed to the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
An additional $30 billion will be allocated to increase production and distribution of coronavirus tests, something that has been stressed in recent weeks as a crucial measure to allow the safe phased reopening of states. Of that amount, $11 billion will go directly to the states to boost testing at a local-level.
Finally, $75 billion will go to hospitals. Any remaining funds will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health, and other agencies aiding in the coronavirus pandemic relief measures.
All of that being said, that doesn’t mean that additional payments to individuals are not off the table. In mid-April, Rep. Tim Ryan and Rep. Ro Khanna introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act. Co-sponsored by 17 other Democrats, the bill seeks to give almost every American over the age of 16 a $2,000 stimulus check for at least the next six months.
That proposal, however, is still in the early stages, and there have been mixed opinions regarding further stimulus checks should be sent to citizens. While Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the $484 billion bill an "interim measure" and said that government "must prepare another major bill similar in size and ambition to the Cares Act," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that it is time to "push the pause button" on additional spending legislation.”