Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, released a statement April 21 after the Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan agreement to provide $484 billion in new and expanded funding for small businesses, additional funding for the nation’s hospitals and a substantial down-payment on a national testing regime, which experts say is necessary for reopening the U.S. economy.
The deal reached today includes $220 billion above the proposal originally put forth by Senate Republicans.
“It’s been said before that ‘bipartisan solutions are the lasting ones,’ and that has, once again, been proven true today,” said Carper. “Like we saw with the CARES Act, working in a bipartisan manner resulted in a better bill than the limited proposal originally put forth by Sen. [Mitch] McConnell. By working together, we’ve passed a bill that will not only help more Americans, but can also actually get across the finish line and be signed into law. As elected officials, we have a responsibility to get this right — not just push through what’s easy.”
“The deal that was approved unanimously today includes critical funding for the small businesses that need relief the most right now,” said Carper. “It also includes new funding for our hospitals and for the widespread testing and contact tracing efforts that are so crucial at this moment. We can’t manage what we can’t measure. Experts have made clear that we can’t reopen the economy until we have the public health crisis under control, and effective widespread testing and the ability to track this virus is key to that effort. I’m proud that Senate Democrats fought for that funding, and I’m glad to see it included in this larger, bipartisan package.”
“However, I am disappointed that the package approved tonight did not provide much-needed additional funds for our state and local governments that are continuing to bear the brunt of this economic and public health crisis,” said Carper. “As a recovering governor and recovering state treasurer, I understand and appreciate the challenges that those on the ground in our states are facing as they deal with historic revenue losses. This will continue to be a top priority of mine as work begins on the next relief package.”
Provisions Democrats helped to secure in this latest relief bill include $60 billion in new SBA Paycheck Protection Program funding dedicated to small lenders; $50 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which will allow approximately $300 billion in loans to small businesses; $75 billion in emergency money for the U.S. health system; and $25 billion to increase testing and contact tracing capabilities.