Quantcast
U.S. Senate votes to extend small-business aid program through August – Metro US

U.S. Senate votes to extend small-business aid program through August

Shops and businesses are seen closed due to the business
Shops and businesses are seen closed due to the business downturn caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Honolulu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate unanimously voted on Tuesday to extend a $660 billion lending program in an effort to help small businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus, extending a lifeline just as it was due to expire.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives must also approve the extension, which would keep the Paycheck Protection Program operating through August 8.

The measure passed unanimously in the Republican-controlled Senate, where lawmakers have been at odds over what additional steps are needed to help people, businesses and local governments cope with a pandemic that has sickened more than 2.6 million Americans and killed more than 127,000.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers that a full economic recovery is unlikely until people feel safe going out and about. Congress has signed off on roughly $3 trillion in aid so far, but Powell and other Fed policymakers have said more will be needed.

The Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration have handed out $515 billion since April to help cash-strapped companies make rent and keep workers employed.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

More from our Sister Sites