WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a nearly $500 billion interim coronavirus bill by voice vote Tuesday that includes additional money for the small-business loan program, as well as for hospitals and testing, making way for the legislation to become law as soon as the end of the week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a joint statement that they were “proud” to have secured an interim aid bill that went beyond the initial Republican proposal.
“Democrats flipped this emergency package from an insufficient Republican plan that left behind hospitals and health and frontline workers and did nothing to aid the survival of the most vulnerable small businesses on Main Street,” they said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement announcing the deal that in more than a week of negotiations, “while our Democratic colleagues delayed the urgent [Paycheck Protection Program] funds, additional federal help for hospitals and health care providers became urgent as well.”
“I am just sorry that it took my colleagues in Democratic leadership 12 days to accept the inevitable, and that they shut down emergency support for Main Street in a search for partisan ‘leverage’ that never materialized,” McConnell added.