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Courtney Statement on Reports of Bipartisan Agreement for New Aid Bill to Restart SBA Small Business Loan Programs, Replenish Hospital Resources & More

April 19, 2020
Press Release

NORWICH, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) issued the following statement this evening following reports that bipartisan negotiators in Congress are close to an agreement a new interim COVID-19 aid bill that will restart the federal Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program, replenish resources for hospitals, bolster COVID-19 testing efforts, and more. The agreement would represent the fourth bipartisan bill to respond to COVID-19, and reportedly includes a new round of $300 billion to restart the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and $60 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program – both of which were quickly exhausted by high demand following passage of the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748).

The new agreement also reportedly includes resources that are urgently needed to address funding and cashflow shortages at hospitals, and to expand and improve COVID-19 testing efforts. The new deal comes following days of negotiations to improve upon an initial fourth legislative proposal that provided no additional funding for hospitals, or for testing.

“Bipartisan negotiations are closing in fast on a bigger boost for small businesses than originally put forth by Senator McConnell, as well as for new funding for hospitals and COVID-19 testing,” said Congressman Courtney. “A $300 billion increase for the Paycheck Protection Program and a $60 billion increase for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program will go much farther to address the overwhelming demand for these SBA programs than the bill that was originally put forth.

“Additionally, the $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing – which were completely missing from Senator McConnell’s bill – will provide critical support for doctors, nurses and staff, who in many cases facing unacceptable PPE shortages and layoffs. The newly reached deal will also provide funding for the comprehensive testing the country needs so that we can responsibly re-open the economy. This package, which leaders from both sides of the aisle have worked to reach, will mark the fourth time Congress has come together to pass COVID-19 response legislation to provide critical assistance for the American people.”