President Donald Trump said Monday night he’s hopeful for a Senate vote Tuesday on a deal that would replenish a loan program for small businesses devastated by the coronavirus, as he cited “tremendous progress” in negotiations.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democratic lawmakers were “still prolonging their discussions with the administration so the Senate, regretfully, will not be able to pass more funding for Americans’ paychecks today.” But the Kentucky Republican said the Senate would reconvene Tuesday because the matter was “so urgent.”
The emerging agreement, reports The Wall Street Journal, would send about $310 billion more to the Paycheck Protection Program, which last week ran out of its initial $350 billion. The deal is also expected to include $75 billion in aid for hospitals, $60 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and $25 billion to expand virus testing across the U.S.
“We hope to have an agreement very soon,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday night. “Hopefully tomorrow the Senate’s going to be able to vote,” he said.
Republicans initially had pushed just for replenishing the loan program for small businesses, and they had resisted Democratic calls for tacking on other provisions, such as money for health-care institutions or having more PPP loans channeled through community-based financial institutions that serve a diverse range of enterprises.
The loan program for small businesses initially received $350 billion in last month’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus package, known as the CARES Act, or Washington’s “Phase 3” response to the pandemic. The PPP ran out of money Thursday.
In addition to boosting the PPP, which some analysts are describing as a “Phase 3.5” response, Democratic and Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration are working on “Phase 4” legislation targeting the coronavirus crisis. Analysts have predicted that next big spending package, also called CARES 2, could cost about $1 trillion and not become a reality for several weeks.
U.S. stocks SPX, -1.78% finished near session lows Monday as investors watched oil futures crash, overshadowing optimism about plans for a staggered easing of global lockdowns in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery CLK20, -104.15% finished down $55.90 on Monday, down more than 306%, to settle deeply in negative territory at -$37.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Originally Published on MarketWatch
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