After holding out for 12 days, the Democrats gave in today and agreed to fund the Paycheck Protection Program to the tune of another $320 billion. The bill includes additional $60 billion for “Economic Injury Disaster” Loans, plus $75 billion to go to hospitals and health care providers. And on top of that, $25 billion for COVID testing and research and development.
This is Mitch McConnell’s tweet announcing the agreement:
I am encouraged that Democrats have finally agreed to reopen the Paycheck Protection Program and abandon a number of their unrelated demands. My full statement on Congress’s new bipartisan agreement to provide additional small-business support, more funding for testing, and more: pic.twitter.com/nDnhxbs9KB
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) April 21, 2020
My guess is that there are some Democratic goodies buried in the fine print, but I take it that the Dems abandoned their demands for unrelated priorities like mail-in voting.
This shouldn’t be considered a victory. The cost of the shutdowns continues to be catastrophic, and the hangover when the bills come due will be immense.