Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
This week Senate Republicans put forth a proposal to provide an additional $250 billion to support small businesses during coronavirus. The proposal focuses largely on adding more resources to the Paycheck Protection Program approved in the CARES Act to help businesses keep employees on payroll while they are shut down due to coronavirus. However, Democrats blocked the proposal, arguing that the deal should also include $250 billion for hospitals, local governments, and food aid. Neither Democrats or Republicans were able to come to an agreement on Thursday, April 9 before the Senate convened with both the Republican and Democrat proposals being blocked.
House and Senate Democratic leadership issued their proposal for stimulus package number four this week. Democrats are proposing for the package to focus on small business aid, support for hospitals, community health centers and broader health systems, ramping up production and distribution of national rapid testing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), additional money to state and local governments to manage coronavirus, and more food aid support. The next stimulus package is expected to be voted on in late April. NCSD has put forth a request for $500 million to support STD clinics as they transition their response to coronavirus testing.