U.S. Senate Passes Paycheck Protection Program & Health Care Enhancement Act

 U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today supported Senate passage of a fourth relief bill related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including new resources to help small businesses survive and new eligibility provisions for agricultural operations.

The Senate on Tuesday approved the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which will provide additional funding for programs created in the CARES Act in late March.  The bill requires House approval before it can be sent to President Trump.

“The ongoing needs and hardships spread across the health care system and our economy are obvious.  The longer the economic shutdown goes on, the more it becomes apparent that it is unsustainable.  This legislation is intended to help as we move toward a safe reopening of more day-to-day commerce across the nation,” Hyde-Smith said.

Initial funding for important programs within the CARES Act either lapsed or is running short.  Democrats delayed completion of this new legislation for more than a week with new demands on issues unrelated to important ongoing relief programs.

The Senate-passed legislation includes $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), $75 billion to fund hospitals and other healthcare providers, and $25 billion for state-led COVID-19 testing plans.

Hyde-Smith highlighted new provisions that make farm and ranch operations with fewer than 500 employees eligible for EIDL, a Small Business Administration Program that provides advances of up to $10,000 to businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.

Bill text and primary summaries are available below:

Finally, Hyde-Smith said she will continue to advocate Mississippi interests as subsequent legislation is crafted to address the effects of COVID-19 on the United States.  For instance, she and Senator Joe Machin (D-W.Va.) are pushing for set aside aid for rural hospitals.

Press Release

4/21/2020