The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the $484 billion package in aid aimed at small businesses impacted by the COIVID-19 pandemic. The Senate passed the aid package on Tuesday
, and heads to the desk of the President next for his signature.
According to TheHill.com
, the stimulus package won the necessary majority vote Thursday afternoon, as lawmakers observed social distancing rules and arrived to vote in small groups.
The package features $310 billion marked for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including $60 billion for community banks and smaller lenders.
As small businesses continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Labor announced
Thursday that for the week ending April 18, the advance figure for seasonally-adjusted initial claims fell slightly 4,427,000, a decrease of 810,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 8,000 from 5,245,000 to 5,237,000. The four-week moving average stood at 5,786,500, an increase of 280,000 from the previous week's revised average.
“Today’s unemployment report shows continued, elevated unemployment claims caused by the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “The Department of Labor is continuing to provide guidance and support to the States as they implement the enhanced unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, with 44 States now paying the $600 additional weekly benefit provided by the Act.”
National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Vince Malta stated: "SBA loan programs have been a lifeline for Realtors fighting to serve clients and pay employees during this crisis. While our 1.4 million members find innovative ways to get Americans into new homes without jeopardizing public safety, NAR is focused on ensuring Realtors and the real estate industry are in the best possible position to lead in our nation’s upcoming economic recovery. We’re grateful to Congress and the administration for moving to secure programs like the EIDL and PPP, which help keep small businesses, independent contractors and the self-employed afloat until that time."
This latest stimulus package is the fourth such package to move through Congress, making it the largest emergency relief effort in modern U.S. history with a $2.8 trillion price tag.
The Washington Post reports
lawmakers from both parties are already talking about pursuing more large spending bills to try to contain the pandemic’s economic fallout, but the measure on Thursday could be the last one for at least several weeks as divisions emerge between the parties about how much more to do. Congress is not scheduled to return to Washington until May 4 at earliest.