CDC director warns coronavirus outbreak could be “even more difficult” next winter
Senate just approved approximately $ 480 billion in relief package that includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding for small businesses affected by the coronavirus epidemic, as well as other priorities like money for hospitals and expansion of Covid-19 tests.
The measure was voted on, a decision that gave lawmakers the ability to approve the deal without most senators having to return to Washington, DC, during the pandemic.
After the Senate met at 4 p.m. and before the vote, a handful of Senators, Republicans and Democrats, took the floor to debate the deal. Republican Senator Rand Paul criticized the deal.
“I object to spending an additional $ 500 billion. Virus bailouts have already cost more than $ 2 trillion. This year our annual deficit will be around $ 4 trillion. We cannot continue on this path. No bailout will stimulate an economy strangled by quarantine. It is not a lack of money that torments us, but a lack of trade. This economic calamity is only resolved when we start to reopen the economy, “he said.
Paul said he understood that it would have been difficult for many senators to return during a pandemic and for this reason, he “did not invoke the rules of the Senate to require a recorded vote”, but added : “However, I returned today so that history would record that not everyone has yielded to the massive debt that Congress is creating.”
Republican Senator Mike Lee has criticized the process of passing the bill, arguing that if Congress were to legislate during the pandemic, members would have to return to Washington.
“It is not acceptable, we should not pass major legislation … without Congress actually being in session, without the members actually being here to discuss, amend and review the legislation,” he said. declared.
The total invoice price is approximately $ 484 billion. It will allow the paycheck protection program to spend an additional $ 310 billion. The agreement provides approximately $ 320 billion in total for the program.
The program was set up to provide assistance to small businesses facing the economic freeze brought on by the pandemic. Funding for the program ran out at the start of the month, prompting concerns and protests from small businesses. The agreement will also provide $ 75 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers affected by the pandemic to cope with coronavirus expenses and lost revenue, and an additional $ 25 billion to facilitate and expand Covid-19 testing. .
It must then be adopted by the House before it can reach the President’s office. Trump tweeted in support of the deal earlier today, saying he would sign it.