The House is preparing to pass the Phase 3.5 coronavirus stimulus bill Thursday along with a bill to create a special House coronavirus committee. It's promising to be a prolonged two votes, with members voting in groups of 40 or so and the chamber being cleaned between the votes.
The bill from the Senate has $310 billion more in the Paycheck Protection Program, small business loans that haven't entirely gone to small business or necessarily protected paychecks so far. This bill does carve out $30 billion of that loan package for smaller federally insured banks and credit unions, those that have assets between $10 and $50 billion, and another $30 billion in loans for lending firms with less than $10 billion in assets to issue.
It also sends an additional $75 billion to hospitals for covering coronavirus patients and to make up some of the lost revenue from canceled elective procedures, and another $25 billion for expanded testing, $11 billion of which goes to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments.
There's not bad stuff here. But there's not enough stuff here, not nearly enough. And Mitch McConnell is promising as of now to fight any more good stuff, baldly stating that he thinks states should have to go bankrupt rather than get any federal assistance because "deficit." The deficit sure didn't stop him from sneaking big tax cuts for millionaires into the last big stimulus bill.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer are promising that they'll drive the next big bill, that they'll be "playing hardball." They'd better be. To that end, Pelosi had better have to work to get her members on board to pass this one.