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Congress, White House Near Deal On Renewing PPP Funding

There's word out of D.C. today that the Trump administration and congressional Democrats are near a dear that would add $300 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program - the effort to assist small businesses that ran out of money last week due to overwhelming demand.

The deal would add around $300 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses that was swamped by demand in the three weeks since Congress passed it as part of a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill. It also would add $60 billion to a separate emergency loan program for small businesses that also is out of money.

Some of the money in the small business program would be reportedly directed specifically to rural and minority businesses.

The agreement would also provide an additional $100 billion for hospitals and coronavirus testing ($75 billion and $25 billion, respectively), which is something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had been seeking.

Public health experts and elected officials (such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo) agree that widespread availability to testing - particularly antibody tests that indicate if a person recovered from COVID-19 and is presumed to have some degree of immunity as a result - is going to be the cornerstone of a successful effort to re-open the economy.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNN today that he hopes the U.S. Senate will vote on this agreement tomorrow, and the House will follow suit Tuesday.

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